Fairfield to host 'A Trail of Scarecrows' this fall

Visitors bureau invites businesses to create scarecrows in downtown

The Fairfield Convention & Visitors Bureau is hosting an event this fall to provide an outlet for the community’s pent-up creativity.

The bureau is inviting businesses and organizations to create scarecrows, which will be placed throughout downtown and will be judged from Oct. 21 to Nov. 1. Members of the public can vote on their favorite, and prizes will be awarded to the winner.

The name of the event is “The Gathering: A Trail of Scarecrows.” Fairfield Convention & Visitors Bureau Director Terry Baker said she hopes it will inspire “socially distanced fun” for the town and people who come to visit. The scarecrows will be predominantly in the downtown, although Baker said they can be anywhere.

Baker said she hopes the public will dress their scarecrows as a character from their favorite book, movie or TV show. Baker and Fairfield Economic Development Association Executive Director Josh Laraby appeared before the Fairfield City Council Monday with a scarecrow of their own. Their scarecrow was made to look like Joe Exotic from the Netflix series “Tiger King.”

Those who wish to participate are asked to register their scarecrow online at Residents can read what the guidelines are for making a scarecrow, how to register their scarecrow and how to register to host a scarecrow display. Baker said those who make a scarecrow will be responsible for maintaining its appearance for the duration of the contest. Those who wish to participate should register by Oct. 18.

Baker said she’s had cooperation from the Fairfield Art Association, Fairfield Beautification Commission, the Fairfield October Society and Fairfield Park and Rec Department. Park and rec has a few rules to follow, such as not putting stakes in the ground on the square. Each scarecrow must be standing on its own or sitting on a bench.

Baker said the visitors bureau is putting on this event for a couple of reasons. One of them is to tap into the pent-up creative energy of people who have been cooped up most of the year. The other is to bring a fun thing to do to Fairfield’s downtown.

“We want to perpetuate Fairfield’s brand identity as one of Iowa’s most creative and eclectic community,” Baker said.

Baker said this event could be turned into a festival someday, but for now, the visitors bureau is starting small with a scarecrow contest. Baker encourages members of the public to use recycled materials.

“I was scoping out our second-hand stores, and I found so many great potential costumes,” she said. “I think people will have a fun time sourcing materials for their scarecrows.”