‘Dive Into Fall’ at 17th Annual Great Akron Scarecrow Festival!

Posted September 6, 2017 at 4:41 pm

Families from across northwest Iowa and southeast South Dakota will kick off the fall season at the Great Akron Scarecrow Festival in Akron from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 16.

The 17th annual festival, held in the Akron City Park, will feature a scarecrow decorating contest, homemade food and baked goods, kids’ games and activities, a petting zoo, and dozens of craft vendors.

The theme for the 2017 festival is “Dive Into Fall,” highlighting the start of the autumn season and the Akron community’s efforts to raise funds for improvements to the community swimming pool. The Pool Improvement Fund is just one of the many projects supported by proceeds from the annual festival.

Following the 2016 festival, more than $10,000 was donated to about 25 projects, programs and events in Akron and Westfield.

“We’re excited to host a family-friendly event in a small-town atmosphere,” said Lisa Nielsen, member of GFWC/Iowa Friendship & Service Club and one of the festival coordinators. “What started as a small event has grown to attract visitors, competitors and vendors from throughout the region and helps raise funds to support programs all year long.”

The festival is hosted and organized by the 40 members of the Akron Friendship & Service Club, a non-profit charitable and service organization that is part of the General Federation of Women’s Clubs (GFWC), and supported by dozens of volunteers.

The highlight of the festival is the scarecrow decorating contest, and the 2017 contest includes several new ways to win. Contestants of all ages create and decorate scarecrows of all sizes, shapes and themes to compete for more than $800 in cash and donated prizes. Scarecrows are judged in three age categories: Preschool through Fifth Grade, Sixth through 12th Grade, and Adult.

In addition to the first, second and third place prizes in each age division, other prizes include:

• Best “Dive Into Fall” themed scarecrow will be recognized with a family pass to the Akron City Pool for the 2018 summer season.

• People’s Choice Award voted on by festival goers. People’s Choice voting will take place from 10:00 to 11:30 a.m. at the festival information booth.

“Chamber’s Choice” Award will be presented by the Akron Area Chamber of Commerce to the best scarecrow in the Adult category and combined Preschool through 12th Grade categories that shows the best hometown spirit and support of Akron and Westfield communities and businesses.

• “School Spirit” Award will be presented by the Akron-Westfield Athletic Booster Club for the scarecrow that shows the best Westerner spirit.

Participants are encouraged to be creative with both the themes and materials used for creating their scarecrows. From superheroes to movie stars, and minions to traditional scarecrows, it is always fun to see what personalities the competitors choose to create each year.

For festival goers who would like to take the fall fun home with them, an auction of the scarecrow entries will be held at 2:00 p.m. All scarecrows entered in the Adult and Sixth through 12th Grade categories will be auctioned. Children in the Preschool through Fifth Grade category can decide whether to take their scarecrows home or auction them.

Children will keep busy all day with carnival games, mini-train rides, inflatables and a free petting zoo. Face painting and glitter tattoos are also available.

Community and school leaders will take a turn in the “Splash Into Fall” booth where kids can pay to throw sponges at their favorite teachers, coaches and administrators.

Festival visitors won’t leave hungry. Food booths and vendors will feature taverns, hot dogs, tacos-in-a-bag, homemade pies, kettle corn, funnel cakes, and other fall treats. The “Nature’s Harvest” store includes hundreds of homemade breads, cakes, pies and treats made by Friendship & Service Club members for purchase. More than 40 vendors will offer crafts, clothing, popular brand products, and food for sale.

For more information, visit www.AkronScarecrowFestival.com or email AkronScarecrow@gmail.com. Visit us on Facebook at “Great Akron Scarecrow Festival” to learn more and enter weekly giveaways and contests before the festival.

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