When it comes to fall activities, we know you’re already apple-picking and heading to a pumpkin patch. But what about going to a scarecrow festival? You might scratch your head at the idea of a festival dedicated to this tool commonly seen in a farmer’s field, and rightfully so. But scarecrows are traditionally made with whatever materials are lying around the yard, making them a natural option for creative fall decor. After seeing the unique ways scarecrows are used to dress up these charming towns for the season, you’ll see why a whole festival is necessary. Here are the scarecrow festivals you have to visit this fall.
One of the first scarecrow festivals in the country (they’re celebrating 25 years!), Meaford puts on a renowned “invasion” every year of all types of scarecrows. Although the official day with festivities is the last day of September, the making and designing of scarecrows begin in mid-September, and the creations stay on display until after Thanksgiving. You can visit on the 30th and see the creations at your own pace throughout the next few weeks.
Fall is a great time to visit PEC, and this activity put on by local arts organization The Department of Illumination is a great event to add to your next trip. The Scarecrow Festival in Picton doubles as a fundraiser for the group, while it dresses up the quaint town even more for the fall season. If you want to go, bring $40 for you and your group, and you’ll receive all of the materials they need to build your very own scarecrow.
Hosted as a partnership between the City of Kingston, Junior League of Kingston, and the Friends of Historic Kingston, this festival takes you on a scenic walk through a picturesque local park where you’ll see scarecrows with unique displays, including some that pay homage to local history and culture. This year will also feature a farm animal display from Forsyth Nature Centre.
Running for the third year in a row, the local Omemee Blooms Garden Club is hosting this interactive scarecrow festival. The club invites the community to make their best scarecrow to display in a window, front lawn, or front porch so everyone can see and vote for the best. Although the deadline to have scarecrows on display is September 30, the scarecrows will be up for a few days after that, so you can take a walk and see the unique creations locals came up with.
For our East Coast friends—what better excuse to stroll through Charlottetown’s picturesque downtown? This scarecrow festival gives you ample time to see the local community’s creativity. It started during the pandemic as a safe, outdoor activity to raise everyone’s spirits in a difficult time and has continued to be popular, with more than 700 scarecrows on display in past years.
Another East Coast contender, this Nova Scotia-based festival invites everyone out for a fall stroll to see the fun—and spooky—scarecrows the community has on display. The scarecrows are set against the beautiful backdrop of Amherst’s historic downtown and make for something of a scavenger hunt as you spot them in local shops and store windows. The festival provides a map so you can find each one, and since it runs right up until Halloween, it could also make for a fun add-on to trick-or-treating.