Scarecrow festival greets fall |

Scarecrow festival greets fall

by Caryn Haller
Special to The R-C
Jamie Molanders and her kids Colby, 7, and Miranda, 4, work on their scarecrow 'Anne' at the East Fork Gallery's annual Scarecrow Festival Saturday morning in Heritage Park.
Brad Coman |

It wouldn’t be fall in Carson Valley without the annual scarecrow festival hosted by East Fork Gallery.

On Saturday, dozens of families took advantage of the warm weather to keep the tradition alive in Heritage Park.

“I did it as a kid with my dad, and we brought the kids here to have a piece of home,” 2003 Douglas High School graduate Jamie Molanders said as she stuffed newspaper into her scarecrow. “I remember when it used to be in front of the museum. It’s still something nice to do. The kids are having a blast.”

The Molanders are a military family, home for a visit with Jamie’s father, Neil Hill.

“It’s great having family here,” Hill said. “The scarecrow festival is a good adventure and it’s fun teaching them (the grandkids) how to do it.”

Gardnerville resident Tiffany Feddish has been coming to the festival since she was her son’s age.

This was the first year 5-year-old Kruz Watson has been old enough to help stuff straw and newspaper into the scarecrow.

“It’s a tradition,” Feddish said. “It feels like fall. We look forward to it.”

Decorating her home for fall would not be complete without the scarecrow, Feddish added.

“A couple of them we’ve kept for a few years,” she said. “It’s cute while it lasts.”

Gayle Trent has kept the family tradition going for more than 20 years.

On Saturday, Gayle was building two scarecrows with her husband, daughter, son and grandchildren.

“It’s fun,” the Gardnerville resident said. “I feel like I’m a professional scarecrow builder now. We always set them out on the porch.”

Gayle laughed with her daughter, Melissa McKinney, as she recalled one night the scarecrow on their porch gave them quite a scare.

“We forgot it was there,” she said with a smile.

Grandchildren Robbie and Jackson McKinney and Jenna Trent were given the official jobs of “paper squishers” and “clothes picker outers.”

“I like it because I like squishing stuff,” 8-year-old Jenna said. “I like decorating the face, too.”

This year’s scarecrow had yellow and green eyes with purple eyelashes and braided, blue hair.

“You never get too old for Halloween,” Jenna’s father, Jon, said. “I was doing it when I was a kid, now I get to take my daughter to do it.”

New to Carson Valley, Michael Cimino of Minden brought his 4-year-old grandson and namesake to the scarecrow festival for the first time.

“I wanted to make a funny scarecrow, not scary,” little Michael Cimino said. “I’m going to call him John.”