The road between Stevensville and US 93 in the Bitterroot will be lined with creative scarecrows, starting Friday, October 1st. It's the 15th annual Scarecrow Festival, with an emphasis on fun creativity over scary (photo below). Thousands of people view the entries each year.

witch scarecrow
A witchy crashed scarecrow. (Steve Fullerton, Townsquare Media)

But if you want to enter, the deadline is 5 p.m. Monday, September 27. There are three categories and entry fees - Families and Organizations - $30; Businesses - $35; Kids (8th grade and younger) - $10. Register online at the special scarecrow festival website. If you need more information or to help volunteer (Volunteers Are Needed!), call 406 360-6716.

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The scarecrows will be set next Thursday and Friday, with judging on Friday and Saturday, October 1 and 2. There's the People's Choice awards and the Judges' Most Artistic awards. The Family entries will be on the hiking/bike path at the north end of Stevensville, the Business entries will be on Main Street and the Kids entries will be displayed at the lawn of the Stevensville Hotel. The scarecrows will be displayed for at least a week in October, unless weather interferes.

The Scarecrow Festival has grown over the years to include Pumpkin Carving from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Friday, then a Food Court and a Straw Maze from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. on both October 1 and 2. Saturday only, free horse-drawn Wagon Rides will be from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. and a Brewfest will be on 3rd Street from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m., all centered in downtown Stevensville. The Award Ceremony will be Sunday, October 3 at 3 p.m. at the hiking/bike path.

minion scarecrows
Even Minions get involved. (Steve Fullerton, Townsquare Media)

Co-organizer Loey Knapp said, "This is a great opportunity for families and groups (book clubs, hiking groups, gamers, gardening groups). This is just pure fun." She's right and we all can use a little smile.

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