Seasonal scarecrows to inhabit Caz village lampposts

— This Halloween season, the Greater Cazenovia Area Chamber of Commerce is hoping to start a new tradition.

Starting Oct. 25, lampposts in the Historic Cazenovia Business District will be adorned with about 20 handmade scarecrows as part of the First Annual Scarecrow Fest. Residents will be able to vote for their favorite entries along portions of Albany and Lincklaen streets using ballots found on event posters in nearby shops and restaurants. Official judging will be conducted on Oct. 27 by a panel of local residents and GCACC members. The scarecrows will be displayed until the afternoon of Oct. 31, when the public votes will be tallied for the People’s Choice Award.

“We wanted to do something that would be fun for everyone, and this seemed to fit the ticket,” said GCACC Chairman Gene Gissin. “The chamber and the Cazenovia High School art students have joined forces to make it happen. I hope this will be an annual event.”

Awards for first, second and third places will be given, including gift certificates to local businesses for $50, $35 and $25, respectively. The winner of the People’s Choice Award will receive a free family portrait session at Gene Gissin Photography, valued at around $125.

Funding for the First Annual Scarecrow Fest comes from local businesses and area residents, including Isabella, Tizzy’s Antiques, The Gallery of CNY, Gene Gissin Photography, Bob and Diana Slodowitz and Mike and Tammy Hayes.

Cazenovia High School art teacher Bill Paben is also playing a large role in coordinating the effort, having had his art classes create the numerous scarecrows in the weeks leading up to the event. He said he was happy to help, and is excited for residents to see what the students have made.

GCACC Executive Director Anna Marie Neuland is hopeful the contest becomes a yearly tradition in Cazenovia. She said if this inaugural run is a success, the organization will look to expand who can enter in 2013. “Next year we want to have the second contest go public, so we can have even more entries,” she said. “It will be a neat community event for families and neighbors to participate in. We hope the tradition continues.”

For more information on the First Annual Scarecrow Fest, contact the GCACC at 655-9243 or info@cazenovia.com.

Pierce Smith is editor of the Cazenovia Republican. He can be reached at 434-8889 ext. 338 or editor@cazenoviarepublican.com.

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