Submitted by Wauconda Area Chamber of Commerce
Young and old alike jumped into the spirit of autumn by participating in a scarecrow building contest in downtown Wauconda recently. Sponsored by the Wauconda Area Chamber of Commerce, the second annual Scarecrows on Main event was held in conjunction with the chamber's Farmers market.
Eighteen groups participated in the popular contest, including Aspire Boutique, Beyond the Garden, Bulldogs Grill, Creative Alliance Graphic Design, Edlin Inc., Edward Jones Investments, Wauconda Girl Scout Troop 50, jj Twig's Pizza & Pub, Lake County Watersports, Lindy's Landing Restaurant and Marina, Main Street Outfitter, Middleton's on Main, STAR Runners, the Leichty Family, Wauconda Area Queens, Wauconda Boat, Wauconda Park District, and the Zuniga Family. The imaginations of the participants resulted in myriad scarecrows lining the middle of Main Street, including Jake from The Blues Brothers, Peter Criss from the band KISS, a medieval knight, a fisherman and a chef.
The first place winner of this year's contest was Wauconda Boat, whose fully geared fisherman showed off his catch of the day: a large-mouthed bass and a blue shark. Second place went to Wauconda Girl Scout Troop 50 for their colorful punk rocker, and third place went to jj Twig's Pizza & Pub for their ghoulish delivery man who was offering a pizza featuring brains, eyeballs, spiders, bats and severed appendages.
All 18 creations were put up for adoption immediately following the contest. Almost all were adopted, and many are on display at local businesses including the Wauconda Park District, Bliss Wine and Gifts, Bulldogs Restaurant, Middleton's On Main and Beyond the Garden.
Village Mayor Mark Knigge adopted Wauconda Boat's award-winning fisherman for display at the village hall.
"The chamber's initial goal, last year, was to create an annual tradition, featuring local creativity that rivals similar programs like Antioch's Bears on the Chain and Chicago's Cows on State Street," said chamber executive director, Sandy Hartogh. "We've doubled the number of registrants this year, and the popularity is spreading like wildfire. We already have people asking when they can register for our 2013 event. We want visitors to include our town in their fall excursions, and what better way to entice them then with a display of local art that heralds the season while promoting a very fun community?"
Proceeds from the adoption fees were given to the contest winners. Special thanks went to Joe Wojton of Joseph Builders for providing the scarecrow stands, and to Ralph Schmidt of Schmidt Engineering for donating the straw.
To view all of the Scarecrows on Main, visit the Wauconda Area Chamber of Commerce on Facebook at www.facebook.com/waucondachamber
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