Scarecrows to fill Dowagiac business district

Published 9:06 am Monday, September 28, 2015

Submitted photo

Submitted photo

Families, friends, students and co-workers, along with business owners are invited to make whimsical scarecrows that will be placed on display in downtown Dowagiac.

The Scarecrow Contest is being presented by Under the Harvest Moon on Saturday, Oct. 10, an event of the Greater Dowagiac Chamber of Commerce. Now in its fifth year, Dowagiac’s newest festival celebrates Michigan’s glorious autumn, as day visitors enjoy a glimpse of true Americana. At the heart of the event will be a display of vintage farm tractors, an open-air marketplace of antiques, fall produce, Michigan handmade products and sweet delicacies, as well as street entertainment and family events.

Vickie Phillipson, program director for the Chamber of Commerce and Downtown Development Authority, said two divisions of competition are being offered this year. The public division is open to all ages with entries constructed by individuals, as well as families, classrooms and organizations. A business division is also being presented.

Entry into the contest is free of charge. The festival will award a $25 Universal Dowagiac Gift Certificate to the winner of the public division. The winner of the business division will receive a $200 complimentary ad in Leader Publications, which is co-hosting the competition.

Entry forms for the public and business divisions are available at the Chamber of Commerce office, located at 200 Depot Dr., or by calling (269) 782-8212. Deadline for the public division is Monday, Oct. 5.

Phillipson said scarecrow entries should not exceed two feet in width or depth, and should not be more than 7 feet tall. The whimsical hay-men should be weather resistant and sturdy in order to be placed on display.

Businesses located within the central business district will display their entries at their front entrances. Companies located outside the downtown and public entries will be displayed on downtown lampposts or at the gazebo.

A panel of judges will select the two winning entries, which will be announced the day of the festival. For a complete set of rules and regulations, contact the Chamber of Commerce.

Vendors of handmade products, antiques and collectibles, along with growers of fall produce who would like to participate in the festival’s open-air marketplace can do so by calling the Chamber at (269) 782-8212 or by contacting Phillipson at

Owners of vintage farm tractors, who would like to place their equipment on display may do so free of charge and are asked to call the Chamber.

The fifth-annual event has been underwritten by Creative Vinyl Signs, local grower Charlie Dohm, Dowagiac Area History Museum, Kim MacGregor’s office of Edward Jones, Fifth Third Bank, Forest Glen Assisted Living, Hale’s Hardware, J&H Oil Company, Leader Publications, Mennel Milling Co. of Michigan, Preferred Printing, Skibbe Business & Tax Service, Smoke Vision Care, Southwestern Michigan College, Town & Country Garden Club and Williams A-1 Expert Tree Service.