Celebrate things creative, spooky, fun at St. Charles Scarecrow Festival

  • Hadley Marx, 3, of St. Charles touches the nose of a wolf sculpted from straw during the St. Charles Scarecrow Festival.

      Hadley Marx, 3, of St. Charles touches the nose of a wolf sculpted from straw during the St. Charles Scarecrow Festival. Joe Lewnard | Staff Photographer, 2018

 
 
Posted10/9/2019 6:03 AM

Now that the crops are harvested and scarecrows have done their duty in the fields, it's time to celebrate the earth's bounty and embrace the fall season.

The St. Charles Scarecrow Festival, running Friday through Sunday, Oct. 11-13, offers food, drinks, contests, arts, crafts, a carnival, live entertainment and a dizzying display of delightfully decorative and creatively cool scarecrows.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

"It's been around for 34 years. It's very much a St. Charles tradition," said Jenna Sawicki, director of the St. Charles Business Alliance. "There's going to be 100 scarecrows in Lincoln Park. These are all entries from the community,"

Visitors to the St. Charles Scarecrow Festival can vote on scarecrow displays in a variety of categories.
Visitors to the St. Charles Scarecrow Festival can vote on scarecrow displays in a variety of categories. - Courtesy of St. Charles Business Alliance

Sawicki said. The scarecrow displays are created by business and school groups, families, and individuals and are all entered in a contest.

"There's going to be cute ones that look like kindergartners made it and professional, animated ones," she said.

The contest entries will compete for cash prizes in several categories. There will be prizes for best mechanical scarecrow, best large scarecrow incorporated into a scene, best scarecrow created by a nonprofit or club group, best entry designed by a business, an individual and a family, she said.

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Sawicki said visitors will have a chance to make their own scarecrows from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

Food vendors will be available in Lincoln Park and carnival rides will be set up behind the park, she said. Vendors also will offer items for purchase along the riverwalk.

Dean Bellizzi, 11, of St. Charles views a St. Charles East High School display during last year's St. Charles Scarecrow Festival.
  Dean Bellizzi, 11, of St. Charles views a St. Charles East High School display during last year's St. Charles Scarecrow Festival. - Joe Lewnard | Staff Photographer, 2018

The carnival, located at 3rd and Cedar streets, will be open from 5 to 9 p.m. Thursday, noon to 10 p.m. Friday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday and from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday.

And the Autumn on the Fox Arts and Crafts Show will feature 150 vendors offering stained glass, photography, jewelry and metal art from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday and Saturday and from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday in Pottawatomie Park.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

"We have buses that will take people from Lincoln Park to the craft show," Sawicki said.

Free parking is available in the city's downtown area.

Cousins Liz Ording, left, of St. Charles and Brooklyn Curda of Palatine work together as they assemble a scarecrow during the St. Charles Scarecrow Festival.
  Cousins Liz Ording, left, of St. Charles and Brooklyn Curda of Palatine work together as they assemble a scarecrow during the St. Charles Scarecrow Festival. - Joe Lewnard | Staff Photographer, 2018

"We're also doing shuttle buses to Pheasant Run for overflow parking," she said.

Entertainment will include performances by local dance academies and the School of Rock Geneva. Headliners include Scarlett Fever at 6 p.m. Friday, Covington Groove and Six String Crossing beginning at 4 p.m. Saturday and Ben Tatar and the Tatar Tots and The Darling Suns beginning at 1 p.m. Sunday.

"The bands are really talented," Sawicki said. "We are also encouraging people to make sure they come and check out the downtown retail and restaurants."

She said several downtown merchants will offer events, specials and discounts during the festival.

• • •

34th Annual St. Charles Scarecrow Festival

Who: Put on by the St. Charles Business Alliance

When: 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Oct. 11 and 12; 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 13

Where: Lincoln Park, Main and 4th streets and along the riverfront, St. Charles

Admission: Free

Details: www.scarecrowfest.com

• • •

Schedule of events

THURSDAY, OCT. 10

5-9 p.m.: Windy City Amusements Carnival with unlimited rides for $25 at Route 31 and Cedar Street

FRIDAY, OCT. 11

10 a.m.-5 p.m.: 34th annual Autumn on the Fox arts and crafts show with over 150 vendors at Pottawatomie Park

10 a.m.-9 p.m.: Vote for your favorite at Scarecrow Contest displays at Lincoln Park and Third and Cedar streets

10 a.m.-9 p.m.: Free shuttle bus throughout the festival

Noon-10 p.m.: Windy City Amusements Carnival at Route 31 and Cedar Street, with unlimited rides for $25 from noon to 4 p.m. and 5 to 9 p.m. for $30

1 p.m.: Elite Academy of Dance on Lincoln Park stage

2 p.m.: Dreams Dance Academy on the Lincoln Park stage

3 p.m.: Batavia Academy of Dance performs on Lincoln Park stage

4 to 5:30 p.m.: School of Rock-Geneva performs on Lincoln Park stage

6 to 8 p.m.: Scarlett Fever on the Lincoln Park stage

SATURDAY, OCT. 12

10 a.m.: Thompson Middle School Choir perform on Lincoln Park stage

10 a.m.-4 p.m.: Make Your Own Scarecrow at Cedar and State streets; supplies available or bring your own special clothing.

10 a.m.-9 p.m.: Free shuttle bus throughout the festival

10:45 a.m.: St. Charles Dance Academy performances at Third and Cedar streets

10 a.m.-5 p.m.: Autumn on the Fox arts and crafts show at Pottawatomie Park

10 a.m.-9 p.m.: Vote for your favorite at Scarecrow Contest displays at Lincoln Park and Third and Cedar streets

11 a.m. to 4 p.m.: Professional pumpkin carving demonstrations

11 a.m.-10 p.m.: Windy City Amusements Carnival at Route 31 and Cedar Street, with unlimited rides for $30 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. and 5 to 9 p.m.

11:30 a.m.: Dance Dynamics on the Lincoln Park stage

12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m.: It's GARY jazz group performs on Lincoln Park Stage

2 to 3:30 p.m.: Clayton Mann performs on the Lincoln Park stage

4-5:30 p.m.: Covington Groove performs on Lincoln Park stage

6-8 p.m.: Six String Crossing performs on Lincoln Park stage

SUNDAY, OCT. 13

10 a.m.-4 p.m.: Make Your Own Scarecrow at Cedar and State streets; supplies available or bring your own special clothing.

10 a.m.-4 p.m.: Autumn on the Fox arts and crafts show at Pottawatomie Park

10 a.m.-5 p.m.: Free shuttle bus throughout the festival

10 a.m.-5 p.m.: Vote for your favorite at Scarecrow Contest displays at Lincoln Park and Third and Cedar streets

10:30 a.m.: DancEncounter performs on the Lincoln Park Stage

11 a.m.-6 p.m.: Windy City Amusements Carnival at Route 31 and Cedar Street, with unlimited rides for $30 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

11:15 a.m.: Third Street Dance Academy on the Lincoln Park Stage

Noon: Duet Dance Company performs on the Lincoln Park stage

1 to 2 p.m.: Ben Tatar and the Tatar Tots perform on the Lincoln Park Stage

3 to 4:30 p.m.: The Darling Suns on the Lincoln Park stage

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