Scarecrows mark the beginning of fall in the Valley |

Scarecrows mark the beginning of fall in the Valley

by Caryn Haller

Shannon LitzJanice Powell works on a scarecrow at East Fork Gallery on Sept. 12.

In the 28 years the East Fork Gallery has held a scarecrow festival, there was only one year the weather almost ruined the day.

It rained heavily the night before and was still drizzling the morning of the festival.

“It was cold and windy, but people still came and made scarecrows,” gallery president Elfriede Short said. “The JT Bar brought us out spiked coffee so we would stay warm.”

That was during the early years of the festival when the gallery was located where the Historian Inn stands now.

This year’s annual fundraiser is 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Oct. 6 in Minden Park.

A $10 kit provides the clothes, stuffing, hat and facial pieces needed to create a one-of-a-kind scarecrow. Premade scarecrows will also be available for sale.

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“It’s a family friendly activity. It builds memories and gives your home decoration for fall,” Gallery secretary Janice Powell said. “The kids have a good time and the parents have a good time. It pulls people together. It’s old-fashioned entertainment.”

Gallery Director Margie Leslie participated in the festival before she even lived in Carson Valley.

“I came to visit my sister, and we came to Minden Park and built scarecrows together. We had a blast,” she said. “The more we stuffed, the more we laughed.”

Taking about an hour to stuff a full-sized scarecrow, Powell said the key to making a good one is patience, creativity and a good sense of humor.

“It makes it more fun,” she added. “The real key to making a good scarecrow is good weather.”

Face painting will also be offered at the park for $1.

For more information on the scarecrow festival, call 782-7629.

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