BELLE PLAINE, Minn. (WCCO) – Scarecrows might not always be effective at keeping birds away, but for one Minnesota business, they’ve been effective at drawing humans in.
They’re divided into three themes: traditional, humorous and celebrity.
Emma Krumbee’s puts out the invitation each year, and local families and church groups get to work being creative. This year’s collection includes likenesses of everyone from the Village People to Katy Perry.
The festival has been going on since 1983, when owner Mary Jo Morris saw something similar in California.
“We have people that entered the Scarecrow Festival and now their grandchildren are entering the festival,” Morris said. “You don’t realize people are that talented. I mean, these are just local families and stuff.”
Josiah Mecredy, 30, of Cologne is known for his unconventional scarecrows. Over the past 10 years, he’s created several giant animals out of straw and chicken wire.
This year’s entry has a Jurassic Park theme.
“This is a velociraptor,” he said. “Much more scary.”
Mecredy is a handyman who has won first place, five of the eight years he’s entered.
“All of my stuff has been built pretty strong,” he said. “I put a lot of wood into it and then I fill it with hay and then lots of sections of chicken wire.”
This year’s sign came from his wife, Sarah, who’s a painter.
“It’s really great to get to bring our kids,” she said, “and as the years go by, they get to enjoy it and participate more.”
The elements have taken their toll on some of them over the past few weeks, but the scarecrows will stay up through the end of October.
“It’s just a really great event,” said Josiah Mecredy, “especially the first couple weeks when it’s still warm out, bring the kids out, there’s a lot of activities here, there’s a lot of scarecrows to see. It’s just a lot of fun overall.”
Emma Krumbee’s gives out $6,900 in prize money for the best scarecrows each season. For their Jurassic Park entry, the Mecredy family won $400.