Cold weather challenged the first Scarecrow Festival in Peabody on Saturday, but the event generated a steady turnout downtown nonetheless.
“We were so pleased by the participation and we appreciate all those who entered scarecrows or set up a booth downtown,” organizer Peggy Phillips said.
Winners for best scarecrows were Peabody-Burns Girl Scouts in first place for their camping and canoeing scarecrows, Peabody Farm Service in second place for its auto parts scarecrow, and the Jay Gfeller family in third place for a family of scarecrows looking suspiciously like the Jay Gfeller family.
“I was amazed at the number of participants in the scarecrow contest,” Phillips said. “We had 38 sign up to be judged, but we also had a significant number who just made scarecrows for fun.”
In addition to vendors who participated in the American Legion Auxiliary Fall Showcase, half a dozen individuals and businesses set up special booths of crafts, food, and holiday items. Most reported good sales at day’s end.
Peabody fire fighters took the prize and bragging rights for best chili at the Chili Crawl, sponsored by the HUB.
“We were disappointed by the change in the weather, but there is always that chance this time of year,” Phillips said. “I thought we got off to kind of a slow start, but it picked up later and stayed pretty steady.
“We definitely want to do it again and we have some additional ideas we want to try. We’ll organize some kids’ games with fall or Halloween themes and maybe try to get a car show,” she added.
Phillips also encouraged homeowners and businesses to leave their scarecrows up until Halloween.
“Gusty winds Sunday and Monday didn’t help some of them,” she said. “But many are still in good shape and they are a great addition to the community.”