Scarecrow History

HOW IT ALL STARTED

Schomberg Scarecrows was started September 2005 by Cheryl Fisher’s community vision.  Unfortunately records from that year have been lost.  Thank you for keeping the tradition alive!  

Cheryl was inspired to start this friendly competition after visiting the famous Scarecrow Festival in Wrenbury, England.  You can see some of her travel photos here:  Wrenbury 2004

"When visiting a small village in Cheshire, England in 2004, the idea of bringing back the inspiration to Canada started brewing.  The village of Wrenbury had created their Wrenbury Scarecrow Festival, to help finance a new roof that was needed at their village primary school. The whole village was involved, it was a huge success, and the community spirit was heartwarming.  Over 200 scarecrows filled the tiny village--every business, church, restaurant, group and many residents participated. The funds needed for the roof were realized. It brought in people from miles around, they had afternoon tea at the church tea room, they camped on the local pub’s field, and ate in the pub. The school held a fun Garden Party/Bazaar. Visitors bought from local suppliers, as well as taking thousands of photographs, with the amazing scarecrows.

 

The concept appealed and Schomberg seemed a perfect fit for a scarecrow event. The Schomberg Chamber of Commerce assisted by paying for prizes and advertising. The Wrenbury logo was modified to make Schomberg’s original cute circle logo, and in 2006 the first competition was held. Not having the same reason to get involved, Schomberg was slow to get excited about it! The Schomberg Agricultural Society also helped in later years, hosting their bonfire in the Fall, and allowing the winners to be announced, and prizes to be given out, at that event. The Schomberg Village Association came to the rescue and became the sponsor when the Chambers of Commerce amalgamated and became the King Chamber of Commerce.

It was originally held in September and just a week long. All the scarecrows were situated on Main Street, authorized by the land or shop owner, the library, Community Hall etc.  Then it became part of the Schomberg Street Gallery weekend, that started a few year later, which was very popular. The competition started at the library and went north on Main Street past Western Avenue. There would be fifty scarecrows to see in that short space, and a wonderful artsy weekend. With a horse drawn cart and historic walking tours it was a busy and fun street.  When the Schomberg Street Gallery went from a two day event to one, the Scarecrow competition changed again;  people were allowed to have Scarecrows installed on their own property, which covered a huge area. Maps were produced on the website and driving tours were encouraged, to go see and vote for your favourites.

 

Now more of a Thanksgiving and Halloween event, I am so happy the Schomberg Scarecrow competition lives on, thanks to the volunteers at Schomberg Village Association."

- Cheryl Fisher