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Valley News Dispatch

Tarentum hopes ‘Scarecrow Contest’ gets stuffed with creativity

Brian C. Rittmeyer
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Tarentum’s Maskas & Sons has been a frequent winner of the borough’s annual Scarecrow Contest. Last year, their entry was based on ‘The Wizard of Oz.’ Entries for this year’s 10th annual contest need to go up by Oct. 13, and will be judged on Oct. 20. (Submitted)

The days are getting shorter, the Steelers are in training, school is about to start and — like it or not — pumpkin-flavored stuff already is appearing in stores.

Yup, fall is on the way. And with it comes Tarentum’s annual Scarecrow Contest.

This is the 10th year for the contest, sponsored by the borough’s recreation board. Scarecrows need to be hung up by Oct. 13. Winners will be chosen at the Tarentum “Boofest” on Oct. 20.

Prizes are a $100 gift card for first place, $75 for second and $50 for third.

Councilwoman Carrie Fox, president of the recreation board, said she got the idea for a scarecrow contest when she took a walk through a small town outside Hershey.

“I knew I had to bring these handmade scarecrows to Tarentum,” she said. “The recreation board jumped on the idea, and we love seeing the creativity of our citizens. We vote as individual board members on the scarecrows not knowing who made them.

“From family to businesses, these groups do a fantastic job making and creating,” she said. “I would love to see every pole filled with scarecrows this year for our 10th anniversary.”

There is no entry fee. Participants must be a group, family, friends, club, school or business. Scarecrows get placed on light poles along Corbet Street and Sixth Avenue.

Instructions from the recreation board state the scarecrows should be “whimsical, humorous, mischievous, and lovable, but not frightening.

“Scary monsters, bloody and gruesome entries will be disqualified.”

Whimsical is what Maskas & Sons goes for, said Brian Maskas, one of the business’ three owners. Fox said Maskas has been a winner multiple times over the contest’s years.

Last year, Maskas was in a four-way tie for first place with Community Life, the Tarentum Post Office and the Richards family, Fox said.

Maskas said his whole family works on their entry. “My mom and my grandparents help as well,” he said. “We all work on it as a group.”

“My mom or my grandparents come up with an idea and we do that,” he said. Last year, they did a “Wizard of Oz” theme. He doesn’t know what they’ll be doing this year.

“We enjoy building the scarecrow. We think it’s a good community even to get decorating the town,” he said.

The scarecrows usually stay up for a few weeks to a month depending on the weather, Fox said.

Brian Rittmeyer is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Brian at 724-226-4701, [email protected] or via Twitter @BCRittmeyer.

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