Despite a rather blustery weekend, Galesburg’s 12th annual Scarecrow Festival drew in Knox students, Galesburg residents and 35 scarecrows.
The event was held in Standish Park and spanned both Saturday and Sunday, offering eclectic vendors and a wide variety of foods and drinks. Scarecrows lined the pathways of the park, representing Youth, Family, Nonprofit, Business and Fantasy categories.
Knox College’s Garden Club participated in the event with Growing Together Incorporated, an urban agriculture center in South Galesburg. Their scarecrow, entered in the Nonprofit category, was a man in a gray suit and Hawaiian shirt, representing “opposites,” according to sophomore Inez Pena. She worked with Matt Wallen of Growing Together on the scarecrow, and both appeared excited.
“I just think being there is good in general. It’s just the experience,” Pena said.
The duo noted that they had limited time to produce the scarecrow, but were not concerned.
“Less time makes you innovate and create good things,” Wallen said. “I try to push myself.”
The event attracted both Galesburg residents and some out-of-towners.
Darla Rardon and Sharon Rosa came from Quincy, Illinois to sell their homemade crafts.
“I enjoy the job. It’s something I’ve wanted to do my entire life,” Rardon said of her merchandise, which she works on “all the time.”
The booth was filled with various crafts, and many came by to window-shop and look at everything on sale, which ranged from dog coats to crocheted dresses and hand towels.
The event was run by Secretary/Treasurer of the Galesburg Business Association, Amye Peterson.
“We’ve had more scarecrows this year than in the last few years, so that’s been nice. The vendors were down a little bit, but I was okay with that. I was trying to focus on the scarecrows,” Peterson said.
Peterson seemed pleased with the event, despite a rainy weekend.
“The weather definitely dictates what happens. I think it’s been a nice flow of traffic.”
The winner of both the coveted $500 prize sponsored by G&M Distributors in the Nonprofit category and $150 prize for Best Of Show was a straw-filled dog and wooden dog house submitted by Project Dog Park, an enterprise that is “building Galesburg’s first and only off-leash dog park with all donations,” according to president Obi Oki.
The prize money will go toward the fence.
“That’s the most expensive part,” fundraiser Patti Bibo said.
The park will have an area for smaller dogs, an area for bigger dogs and an area that will be on reserve until the first area gets muddy.
“So it’s quite a lot of money,” Oki said.
The dog park is currently in the works, thanks to the donation of over two acres on Carl Sandburg Drive by the City of Galesburg and monetary donations by individuals and businesses.
Both Bibo and Oki were present to receive their award, and appeared ecstatic, posing for several pictures and jumping up and down.
“Oh my gosh, there were so many fantastic ones out there. We were so glad that we were invited to be a part of this and we actually produced a winning one. Thanks to everyone,” Oki said.