Scarecrows are world travelers, and they are again coming to Edmonds

Hotline is up on Sept. 25
By Bette Bell | Sep 21, 2017
Photo by: Brian Soergel There weren’t too many scarecrows scarier than these two in 2016, squaring off at Wilcox Construction on Fifth Avenue South.

Too early to be thinking about Halloween? We don’t think so – not in Edmonds, anyway.

Halloween is a big day in Edmonds, as hundreds of kids and their parents mob downtown during the Chamber of Commerce’s annual trick-or-treating, with businesses supplying the goods.

Before that sweet day, however, those same businesses will be putting their creative skills to the test with the fifth annual Edmonds Museum Scarecrow Festival. Funny, scary or just plain fun scarecrows will be fill Edmonds streets and shops.

Have you ever wondered how scarecrows came to be? It seems they have an ancient history and a diverse international background, multinational if you like, and have a hundreds of stories to tell.

Historically speaking, the Egyptians used the first scarecrows in recorded history to protect wheat fields along the Nile River from flocks of quail. Egyptian farmers installed wooden frames in their fields and threw nets over them. Then they hid in the fields, spooked the quail into the nets and took them home to eat for dinner.

Greek farmers in 2500 B.C. carved wooden scarecrows to look like Priapus, the son of the god Dionysus and the goddess Aphrodite, who supposedly was ugly enough to scare birds away from the vineyards and ensure good harvests. (Priapus was also known for something else, which we won’t get into here.)

They painted their wooden scarecrows purple, put a club in one hand to scare away the birds and placed a sickle in the other, all to ensure a good harvest.

The stories go on and on, from the English, the Germans, the Japanese and Native Americans. They are part of almost every country’s genealogy.

How to build a scarecrow

Businesses that have not built a scarecrow during the first four years can go to and click on Frequently Asked Questions and “How to Build” links. This will get you started, and your imagination will do the rest.

Registration takes place on the website Oct. 1 to Oct. 15. Public voting, also on the website, will take place Oct. 16 through Nov.2.

Three of those businesses receiving the most votes, in each category given below, and the one scarecrow winning the most overall votes, will be announced during the museum’s annual Heritage Days event Nov. 4 at Holy Rosary Parish Center.

A reception is Nov. 6 at the Edmonds Historical Museum for participants who built scarecrows, and those who enjoyed viewing them.

The categories for the Scarecrow Festival are food and beverage providers;financial/insurance/real estate; retail business; service providers; residential; and government /civic/school/art.

New categories within each of the six groups are best by a first-time builder and best depiction of Edmonds. Judges are local artist Andy Eccleshall, Edmonds Historic Preservation Committee member Emily Scott, Edmonds Historical Museum Director Katie Kelly, local resident John McGibbon, and Edmonds-South Snohomish County Historical Society Board President Jerry Freeland.

The Scarecrow hotline, 425-774-6507, will be in service starting Sept. 25 to answer questions.

The winner in each category, and the scarecrow receiving the most votes, will each get a certificate for membership in the Edmonds Museum for 2018 and, of course, the bragging rights that go along with it.

In the meantime, the museum need volunteers to help distribute flyers and signs and be block captains for neighborhoods, business blocks and business segments.

If interested, you can contact the museum at or 425- 774-0900.


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