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Great Scarecrow Festival features plenty of action and fun for everyone

by Gerry Lawrence

Back in 1985, two East Fork Gallery members went to a county fair in Carroll County, Md. I don’t know if their longevity exceeds ours, but while there, they observed one activity that seemed like a great fund-raiser, as well as being a lot of fun -making scarecrows.

With their cooperation, the basic information came back to Carson Valley. We figured that the continent between us would protect them from unwanted competition.

That was the seed that grew to be the great Scarecrow Festival in Gardnerville.

This is our 14th year of organizing the event. Our experience has increased, our skills have improved, our organizing has matured. Only our stamina has weakened.

It takes an amazing amount of preparation to stage this activity. Faces need to be precut, slits must be appropriately cut in jeans and shirts, everything needs to be organized and preassembled.

We have honed our skills, perfected our techniques and have all become scarecrow makers emeritus.

It takes all year to prepare for this affair. Hats, jeans, shirts must be collected and cut. Directions need to be refined. In spite of clear instructions, some scarecrow makers spurn advice and get themselves into terrible messes.

Speaking of foulups, inevitably some people lose stuff, such as wallets and keys.

We have never solved the mystery of whoever lost a key ring, with an ignition key and a safe deposit key attached. How did they get home and how did they explain things? The missing wallet probably went home in someone’s scarecrow.

So, here we go again. On Saturday, Oct. 7, 9 a.m to 3 p.m., Minden Park will be the scene of our yearly madhouse. The price will be $7, the mess monumental and inventiveness rampant.

Readymade scarecrows will also be available.

All members of the East Fork Gallery will supply expertise, equipment, supplies and encouraging words.