by Julie Ann Madden
Whether it’s unique furniture, artwork, crafts or a book to read — one will find it at the 2012 Great Akron Scarecrow Festival & Contest this Saturday at the Akron City Park.
Beginning at 10 a.m., festival attendees will find plenty to their liking as they browse through about 50 vendors’ booths, check out the harvest produce and baked goods, and enjoy the children’s games.
The main highlight of the festival is the Scarecrow Contest. People of all ages are encouraged to design and build a scarecrow.
The scarecrows will be judged at noon and at 2 p.m., they will be auctioned off. All proceeds go toward community betterment.
There are three categories to compete, depending on the age of the contestant:
• Preschool – Grade 5;
• Grades 6 – 12; and
• Adult, age 18 and older.
Scarecrow check-in and setup begins at 8 a.m. at the park.
Largest Pumpkin Contest
New to the festival is the Largest Pumpkin Contest. See adjacent box for information.
In addition to face painting and a petting zoo, there new games such as Plink-It and a Cupcake Walk. There will be also pony rides.
Children can also participate in the Scarecrow Contest.
Activities for Adults
• For adults, there is many activities including a Donkey Biscuit Lottery, the Harvest Produce & Bake Sale, and about 50 vendors selling their crafts.
According to coordinator Sue Higman, there are a lot of new vendors this year.
Some of the new ones include Guatamalan-made artwork and jewelry and a variety of artists from woodworking with barn wood and painted wooden blocks to photographic film prints, graphic art and books.
Plus, there will be the “staple” of the event: food — taverns, tacos in a bag, funnel cakes, homemade pies — way too many to list.
This festival is hosted by the GFWC Friendship & Service Club. This is their 12th annual fundraising event.
Photographic artwork, woodworking and a local author’s book are just a few of the many items vendors will be selling Saturday.
Here is a preview of two that festival attendees will find.
Barn Wood Creations
TV stands, tall cupboards, book cases and vegetable bins are just some of the items that Art and Lorraine Beeck of Charter Oak will have in their booth.
Art, a retired school band director, took an interest in craft shows when he retired. At the time, his wife was the creative crafter.
“There are a lot of crafters making things out of oak so I wanted to do something different,” Art told The Akron Hometowner.
He chose to begin woodworking, using old barns’ wood.
Beeck takes down old barns, salvaging the wood and turning the lumber into unique works of usable art.
Some of his pieces have heart shapes cut into the doors and some have wire screens in the shapes’ openings.
With other pieces, Beeck leaves the wood as it is and at other times, he paints it — it just depends on the barn wood, he said.
Beeck also makes picture frames out of the barn wood. When he finds an interesting painting or art print, he creates a frame and adds it to their selection of items.
“It’s all different kinds and styles of furniture and picutre frames,” said Beeck.
For the past 14 years, the Beecks have been on the craft show venue, traveling from March to December across Iowa, Minnesota and Nebraska.
Photographic artwork, children’s toys, greeting cards and a book hot off the presses are what Jill McDole of Hawarden and John Mosby of Leeds, England, will have in their booth.
McDole, a lifelong Hawarden resident and Class of 1983 alum, has just finished publishing a collection of her writing.
Entitled, “Echoes & Shadows,” it features Twilight Zone short stories with a twist in the tales, said Mosby. “A touch of the supernatural. Great for Halloween but good for all year-round.”
“Both of my parents were English teachers so we had to be able to read and write,” said McDole, explaining her writing creativity. “We’re a very literary family.”
The stories in her new book, which is her first published book, she wrote while attending West Sioux Community School and most recently for her online classes through Ashford University in Clinton where she is studying English and cultural anthropology.
McDole is employed at Hillcrest Services as well as she is a journalist who reviews books and magazine articles.
Mosby, also a journalist, created the photograph used on the book’s front cover.
The English native is an editor for Impact, an entertainment magazine in London, England.
“I’m the movie buffoon,” said Mosby.
Not only does he write but he enjoys creating graphic art through photography. Some of his work has been showcased at Sisters in Hawarden.
Some of Mosby’s photographic works is displayed in British businesses such as hair salons. He has also written a few of his own books such as movie-tie-ins with the X-Men film and television series.
Mosby also comes from a successful literary family as his brother, Steve, is one of England’s prominent authors who writes crime thrillers such as “Dark Room” and “Black Flowers.”
Recently when Mosby was interviewing the Muppets’ Miss Piggy and Kermit, the question he asked received 2 million hits on youtube.
“We’re incredibly lucky to be able to work in an area we like,” Mosby said, adding the Scarecrow Festival will be the first major event of showcasing his work here and for McDole’s book.