The scarecrows will return

Brain or not, the scarecrow in The Wizard of Oz has nothing on the straw characters that have visited Wilton Center the last three years. There have been witches, princesses, firemen, EMTs, superheroes and ghouls of all sorts.

Now, they will be back. And this year, there will be a little Hollywood magic mixed in.

For the fourth year, the Annual Scarecrow Fest will mark the beginning of the fall holiday season. The contest, which has become a town tradition, is presented by the Wilton Chamber of Commerce, in cooperation with The Town of Wilton and Trackside Teen Center.

The contest, open to Wilton-based businesses, organizations, clubs and families, will challenge participants to create original scarecrows to be displayed during the last two weeks of October in the center of town. The entry deadline is Friday, Oct. 3.

New this year, entries will be centered around the Chamber’s “movie and television character” theme. The scarecrows will be attached to 75 town lampposts beginning Oct. 17. A panel of judges will award top honors to five entries.

“With the overwhelming success of previous years’ Scarecrow Fest, we look forward with great anticipation to this year’s themed entries,” First Selectman Bill Brennan said in a press release announcing the festival’s return. Mr. Brennan originally proposed the festival to the Chamber of Commerce in 2011, as a means to attract shoppers and visitors to Wilton Center businesses.

The Scarecrow Fest will run in tandem with the Chamber’s Pumpkin Parade and Trick-or-Treat Walk on Saturday, Oct. 25, and the annual Halloween Hustle 5K and Scarecrow Scamper Kids’ Run on Sunday, Oct. 26.

Official rules and entry forms for the scarecrow contest may be downloaded from the Chamber’s website, wiltonchamber.com. Entries will be limited to the first 75 postmarked by Oct. 3.

Scarecrow kits will be available at Trackside Oct. 8-10, from 10 to 4. The kits, which cost $30, include wooden post frames and hay. Scarecrows may represent a business or group’s identity or be decorated just for fun.

Scarecrows will be installed on Wilton Center lampposts on or about Oct. 17 and will remain through Oct. 31. Judging will be completed and winners announced at the Pumpkin Parade on Oct. 25.

Information: 203-762-0567 or wiltonchamber.com.

—editor@wiltonbulletin.com