Medina Lions Club gears up for scarecrow fest on Oct. 14

By Ginny Kropf, correspondent Posted 20 September 2023 at 9:37 pm

MEDINA – With the arrival of fall comes the announcement of Medina Lion’s annual Scarecrow Festival.

Scheduled from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Oct. 14, the event will again this year take place at the Orleans County 4-H Fairgrounds.

“We had a great time last year, selling several hundred scarecrows,” said Tom Beach, who is co-chairing the festival with Jim Hancock. “Families had fun choosing the clothes and faces for their scarecrows and helping to assemble them.”

The history of the Scarecrow Festival goes back more than a decade and was originally started by former Lion Sherry Wheatley, who organized the successful event for many years. Locations in the past have included the canal basin, the Medina Armory, Roberts’ Farm Market and Forrestel Farm.

The current location helps to make it a regional event, Beach said. Patrons come from all over Orleans County and Eastern Niagara. Acres of parking and the ability to hold it inside, rain or shine, are bonuses. The Medina Lions hope this will be the permanent home for the festival and are very grateful for the cooperation of Orleans County Cornell Cooperative Extension in providing this space.

The Scarecrow Festival couldn’t go on without help of the entire community, who provide major help in preparing for the event. Jen Scott’s art class at Medina High School paints the faces on hundreds of “scarecrow heads.” The MAAC Thrift Shop provides all the clothes and the 4-H will have bunnies for the kids to visit. Medina Lions will be serving food throughout the day and will assist with every phase of the assembly process.

No reservations or advance payment are required. Kids and their families simply show up any time during the event and pay $12 per scarecrow. Then they begin the process of choosing clothes and faces. Next, they stuff the scarecrows from a large pile of hay donated by Lion Ken Dunham. Lions’ members act as “surgeons,” and tie the finished scarecrows together. Then they are ready to take home.

“Kids take great pride in their scarecrows,” Hancock said. “They reflect each child’s individuality, and there are never two alike.”

While children love this event, it is open to folks of all ages. Parents and grandparents get a lot of pleasure out of watching the children choose and stuff their scarecrow, while frolicking on the pile of hay.

The Scarecrow Festival is one of Medina Lion’s biggest fundraisers, and all proceeds are donated to various local charities in the community.