Each year around this time, scarecrows begin appearing in farms and towns to welcome the fall season. But these field-dwelling specters have been around for longer than you might realize. In fact, in the oldest surviving Japanese book (which dates to the year 712) there is a scarecrow. That makes these human-shaped decoys more than 1,000 years old. While farmers use them to scare away birds from disturbing their crops, many places have adopted the tradition of bringing them out to also celebrate the season.
Scarecrows have become synonymous with Halloween, and Georgia is scarecrow central. All across the state, different towns, cities, neighborhoods and parks display these spooky mannequins this time of year. We’ve narrowed down where to go for Georgia scarecrows so you can check out some of these fantastic fall icons.
Scarecrow Parade – Acworth
Scarecrows decorated by Acworth students, nonprofits, churches and other local organizations line up along Main Street in Historic Downtown Acworth as a part of the 10th Annual Scarecrow Parade. This year’s theme is “Totally 80s!” These scarecrows will be on display until November 6, and awards are given for five categories of scarecrow decoration.
Scarecrow Display – Alpharetta
Though the traditional Scarecrow Harvest Festival has been canceled due to COVID-19, Alpharetta is continuing with its 15th Annual Scarecrow Harvest with a change of venue. This year, scarecrows will be on display in downtown Alpharetta until November 2. There are more than 120 local businesses, families, neighborhoods and organizations that have decorated the scarecrows on display. They are organized in six different “Scarecrow Patches” along an official walking tour all within a square mile for a fun stroll around the city.
Scarecrows in the Garden – Atlanta
From now until November 1, visitors to the Atlanta Botanical Garden can visit the Scarecrows in the Garden exhibit showcasing dozens of scarecrows crafted by local artists, youth groups and other individuals. There are three cash prizes awarded to the top three best scarecrows on display, so catch them before they’re gone!
Scarecrow Bash – Hartwell
For the 10th year in a row, Hartwell is having their Annual Scarecrow Bash by Hartwell Main Street. This year’s theme is to “Scare COVID Out of Hartwell… Support Our Essential Workers!” There are also prizes for 1st, 2nd and 3rd place as well as People’s Choice given out by Halloween day. These scarecrows are on display around the courthouse lawn and throughout town until October 31st.
Scarecrows on Main – Kennesaw
For the first time this year, Kennesaw has invited residents, businesses, faith-based organizations, nonprofits, sports teams, and more to create scarecrows to be displayed on Main Street. These scarecrows are on display all month and similar to other towns they are giving out prizes for the top 3 entries as well as a People’s Choice award with cash prizes. Check out the City of Kennesaw’s Facebook page if you can’t make it as they will display photos of all of the scarecrows there too.
Scarecrow Village – Locust Grove
Along either side of the train viewing platform and throughout Historic Downtown in Locust Grove, locals and local businesses are displaying their scarecrow decorating talents this year in the Scarecrow Village. They are giving out some unique prizes too, including Best Business Scarecrow, Best Scarecrow Wearing a Face Mask, Best Scarecrow from a Nonprofit Organization and Overall Most Creative Scarecrow. These scarecrows will be out and about through November 1.
Scarecrows in the Square – Marietta
Although the 2020 Marietta Harvest Fest was canceled due to COVID-19, the city is still making the best of it by holding a Scarecrows in the Square display in Glover Park (as well as online contests for Kid & Pet Costumes and Pumpkin Carving). Nonprofits, businesses and schools are displaying their scarecrows in Historic Marietta Square this year through October 31.
Scarecrows on the Square – McDonough
Through October 31, McDonough residents and visitors can enjoy scarecrows decorated by local businesses, organizations, churches and other residents in the annual McDonough Scarecrow Contest hosted by the McDonough Main Street Program, McDonough Hospitality and Tourism and the Greater McDonough Business Association. This year there are only 50 scarecrows to ensure social distancing is possible, giving six feet between each entry. Come visit them before November 1 to see what they have on display.
With so many different places to see scarecrows throughout Georgia, there is sure to be a display near you. Bring the whole family out to see the creative designs offered in these seasonal scarecrow showings and decide which ones you think should win prizes. Admiring these creations on a beautiful fall day is a great way to get out of the house and appreciate this unique seasonal decoration while it lasts.
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