It’s Spalding Scarecrow Mania 2015

Rotarians David Spenceley (left) and Peter Atkinson with their scarecrows in Spalding town centre. SG060215-103TW
Rotarians David Spenceley (left) and Peter Atkinson with their scarecrows in Spalding town centre. SG060215-103TW

A brand new event will bring people together for an amazing day in Spalding this summer – Scarecrow Mania 2015.

People are invited to make their own scarecrows and take them along to Ayscoughfee Gardens on July 26 when prizes will go to the cream of the crop – those awarded the titles of King Scarecrow and Queen Scarecrow.

Scarecrow Mania is promoted by The Rotary Club of Spalding and Welland and it will bring a big bonus to the East Midlands in Bloom judging as colourful scarecrows will be placed in prime town centre sites, including flower beds and shop windows, when judges visit between July 13-17.

Rotarian Peter Atkinson, who was Spalding Flower Parade organiser from 1977-1999, is the driving force behind Scarecrow Mania.

He wants to see another big event to give people of all ages a lot of fun and is promoting it regionally in the hope of attracting visitors to come to the town.

Peter said: “We are hoping to see grandparents, parents and children, as well as charities, churches, schools and community groups, coming along to promenade their scarecrows – and it will be a chance for the scarecrows to meet their country cousins.

“We hope to have entertainment, stalls and music.

“If it’s successful, we hope to build it up into an annual event.

“Scarecrows have an obvious link with our area because they are the farmer’s and the grower’s best friend – and they are very easy for people to make.”

Simply tapping in “how to make a scarecrow” in Google will have you on the right track, with loads of sites popping up, and you can use your old clothes or bargains buys from charity shops to save on the pennies.

“We’d like to see people put a bit of a comical twist on their scarecrow,” said Peter.

He’s hoping local crafts people will also run classes so you can create your own take on Worzel Gummidge or Aunt Sally.

If you want to take part, you can buy scarecrows on the Internet – Peter bagged two off Amazon for as little as £19 – but ready bought scarecrows won’t be eligible for a king or queen prize in Ayscoughfee Gardens.

Admission on July 26 is free, but there will be a bucket collection for local good causes supported by Rotary’s Two Lips campaign.

Organisations will attend a meeting about Scarecrow Mania at 7pm on February 18 in Spalding’s Broad Street Business Centre and it’s open to anyone who would like to support the event or find out more about getting involved.

A number of district councillors have already pledged support for Scarecrow Mania and will donate money from their ward budgets to help produce a brochure.

Anyone else who wishes to offer sponsorship for Scarecrow Mania 2015 can call 01775 723507.

Peter got the idea for Scarecrow Mania after seeing similar events on the continent and says they are also held in UK villages.

It’s not yet been decided how the winners will be judged, although Peter says it would be great if it could be “the people’s choice” with the people who attend on the day judging the entries.

Peter says the scarecrows may get another outing later in the year if people choose to take them along to the Pumpkin Parade.

* Rotary need to know the likely numbers of people who will enter scarecrows in the competition on July 26. The event runs from 1pm-4pm. If you want to enter a scarecrow, please complete the form in today’s (Tuesday) Free Press and send it to Lynne Harrison, Lincolnshire Free Press, Priory House, The Crescent, Spalding PE11 1AB or email her at lynne.harrison@jpress.co.uk - please include your name, address and daytime phone number.