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Medina Lions prep for Scarecrow Fest on Oct. 5 at Forrestel Farms

By Ginny Kropf, correspondent Posted 20 September 2019 at 8:07 am

Photo by Ginny Kropf: Pictured from left include Billy Roman (seated), Sherry Wheatley, Mary Herbert, Ann McElwee, Carol Bellack and Charlene Walsh. They set up a scarecrow at Forrestel Farms, where the 12th annual Scarecrow Fest will take place Oct. 5.

MEDINA – The 12th annual Scarecrow Fest in Medina will take place from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Oct. 5 at Forrestel Farm and Riding Camp.

The event continues to grow in popularity and features, and this year will enjoy the honor of being celebrated along with Mary Herbert’s 40th anniversary of running the family farm camp.

The fest will have all its old features, along with some new ones, including a flea market this year. Anyone wishing to reserve a spot may call organizer Sherry Wheatley at (585) 735-5135.

The Scarecrow Fest was an idea pitched to Medina Lions 11 years ago by Wheatley. The event has become an annual fundraiser for the Lions, who turn all the profits back into programs for the community.

The Scarecrow Fest has taken place in several locations, including the Canal Basin, Roberts Farm Market, Wise Junior High School and the YMCA. But organizers say Forrestel Farm is the perfect place.

“This is the coolest place,” Wheatley said. “We’re on the farm, with horses and lots of space. This is where it needs to be. And if it rains, we can have it in the barns.”

Forrestel owner Mary Herbert is thrilled to host the event. She is also a member of Lions, and while she doesn’t have a lot of time to donate to the club, hosting the Scarecrow Fest is one way she can contribute, she said.

Recently, Wheatley and fellow Lions members Ann McElwee, Carol Bellack, Charlene Walsh and Billy Roman visited Forrestel Farms to talk about the Scarecrow Fest.

Wheatley said it is the Lions’ goal to add something new every year.

Roman said a lot of organizations are involved in making the Scarecrow Fest a success.

“Everything is donated,” Wheatley said.

First, Wheatley’s mother Pauline Lanning of Albion cuts several hundred heads out of sheets and sews them. They are taken to Medina High School’s Art Department to have faces painted on them. Lyndonville High School’s Art Department will also be asked to help this year, Wheatley said.

Wheatley visits the MAAC Thrift Shop and Lyndonville’s Thrift Shop where she collects old clothing, sheets and accessories (ties, scarves, hats, etc.).

“T” posts for bodies are donated and cut by Iroquois Job Corps’ Carpentry Class. Straw is donated by Phil Keppler of Medina and Ed Neal of Albion.

Orleans 4-H clubs are bringing animals this year.

Cost for each child is $10. After selecting a standing or sitting T post, children choose their head from the large selection clipped on baling twine. Then they go the accessories area and choose ties, scarves or hats.

Straw is dumped into a large pile, and Wheatley said a highlight of the day is watching children, moms, dads, grandpas, grandmas, aunts and uncles thrashing in the straw.

Another favorite activity is having braids added to their scarecrow. Wheatley said they take three pair of old panty hose (also donated by the thrift shops) and stretch them, one by one, over the scarecrow’s head. That gives them three legs on each side, which are then braided.

“Kids just love this,” Wheatley said.

There will be games and children can “milk” a fake cow.

Food will also be available. The Boy Scouts will have corn chowder and chili. The Lions will be cooking hot dogs and hamburgers, and Kim Smith of Lyndonville will be selling cupcakes, cookies and other desserts.

Forrestel Farm and Riding Camp is located at 11380 Main St., Medina (Shelby Center).

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