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Downtown's Scarecrow Fest returns Oct. 2



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September 22, 2010 - There are plenty of signs around Oxford that point to the end of summer and the beginning of the fall season.

First: The kids headed back in school.

Second: Friday nights are spent huddled together under a blanket and watching Bud Rowley's Wildcats.

Third: The leaves are turning shades of orange, yellow and red.

And finally, the Oxford Downtown Development Authority is putting on the annual Scarecrow Festival on Saturday, Oct. 2.

It's the time of year to walk downtown on a Saturday afternoon and enjoy fun activities for children and adults while strolling along Washington St. and viewing an array of scarecrows waiting for their pictures to be taken.

The event is free to the public.

"It's a fun fall festival that really showcases our downtown," Michael Johnson, the Events Coordinator for the Oxford Downtown Development Authority said. "It's going to be a real great day."

Last year's event drew about 500-600 people, but Johnson attributed that to the cold weather they had at the end of October.

"This year we tried to do it at the beginning of October so it could be a little warmer for families to come on out," he said. "We're hoping for a bigger crowd this year."

This year's event will begin at noon. in Centennial Park and run until 5 p.m.

One of the main attractions will be the scarecrows that will line Washington St. "We are encouraging business to put their scarecrows out," Johnson said.

He added that some of the businesses are going to partner with Crossroads for Youth and work with the residents on constructing their scarecrow.

Students from Lakeville Elementary will be working with Villa de Goochi on their scarecrow.

The Scarecrow Festival will feature a children's hay maze, a chili cook-off sponsored by the Oxford Chamber of Commerce, a flea market with nearly 10 venders, an inflatable bounce house and the face painter from Celebrate Oxford.

The event will also feature everyone's favorite fall sport, pumpkin bowling.

A new addition to this year's line-up of activities is a bed race competition, where teams have to construct a bed and race around an obstacle course. There is a $15 participation fee for the bed race.

The bed race will begin at 11 a.m. on Hudson St.

One thing that will be different this year is that it all take place in Centennial Park.

"We are trying to put it into one central location this year...some of the folks that we talked to really liked it on one side of the street," Johnson said.

To register for the bed race or for more information about the Scarecrow Festival, visit www.oxfordscarecrowfestival.com.

Andrew Moser is a staff writer for the Oxford Leader.
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