Scarecrows for a Cause


Meghan McGonagle

When thinking about scarecrows, usually the first thing to come to mind is a homemade statue that scares away birds. However, in Chester, New Hampshire, scarecrows are a much bigger deal.

In 2009, the Chester Historical Society started displaying scarecrows as a fundraiser. It started small, but the “whole town has really gotten behind it,” said Monika McGilliuddy of Realty Scoops.

However, the townspeople can’t just build a scarecrow. They have to buy a ‘scarecrow kit.’ A scarecrow kit is $20 and includes the scarecrow body and burlap head. Each head has a painted on face and no two faces are the same. Then the townspeople can use whatever clothing they have or buy to decorate these scarecrows. Most people make a theme for their scarecrow or scarecrows based on their “hobbies or what they do for work,” said Jackie Brown, a member of the Chester Historical Society.

When I visited the scarecrows this year, one of my favorites was a boat themed scarecrow set up. There were three of four scarecrows all sitting in a row boat. The scarecrows were all wearing sailor costumes and lifejackets while holding oars. It was obvious that a lot of work was put into these scarecrows.

The scarecrows start being put up around October 1st and they start being taken down around October 30. They are all around the main roads and side roads of Chester.

There are also other scarecrows and scarecrow festivals in Wolfeboro, Portsmouth, Jaffrey, Londonderry, Grantham, Plainfield, and possibly a few other places. This is a fun fall event for all ages that people or families can spend an entire day on.