Even though there's plenty to be terrified of this Halloween season, there's nothing scary about these scarecrows.
Hosted by the Midlothian Downtown Business Association, the 2018 Scarecrow Festival is a long-time tradition that's been part of Midlothian for several years now. Events coordinator Haleigh Kurth said she sees the festival as an excellent opportunity to bring the city's diverse community together.
"There's different teams, organizations, schools, art projects, all kinds of stuff that you get to use to creatively build a scarecrow," she said.
Initially started by the Midlothian Arts Council in 2001, Kurth said the council has since shifted to more of an advisory role when it comes to the festival's organization.
"We get to see everybody's creative side," Kurth said. "We don't all think the same. When you get a scarecrow, and you get no limits, we do a bunch of crazy stuff, right? Which is awesome."
Kurth said participants have until Wednesday, Oct. 31 to submit a scarecrow for contest consideration. According to the website, scarecrows must be weather-resistant, suspended on a T-post and have an 8.5-by-11-inch sign affixed that states the scarecrow's title, creator and sponsor.
Last year, Kurth put up a football player scarecrow in honor of the Dallas Cowboys. She remembered her old scarecrow fondly, but this year she's doing something a little more unique.
"We have two little Minions made out of hay blocks, and they are going to be trying to put our yard sign up," she explained. "We're going to put them in our yard lined up."
The website explains that there will be three judged categories for this year's contest: best business, best individual/non-profit organization and best youth/school groups. All three are awarded a prize of $500, while the best business wins a traveling trophy as well. They also have a people's choice award, which rewards a $100 gift card for downtown businesses to the winner.
Kurth said the winners in each category would be announced during the Fall Wine and Arts Festival on Nov. 10, and she can't wait to see what participants will deliver.
"It's really cool to see what everyone's take is on Midlothian," she said.
Applications can be submitted either online or in-person at Century 21 Judge Fite Real Estate, 121 N 8th St, Midlothian, TX 76065. Scarecrows will be set up at Heritage Park in 234 N 8th St from Friday, Oct. 19 to Friday, Nov. 16. To learn more about the festival, go online at midlothianscarecrowfestival.wordpress.com.
David Dunn, @DavidDunnInTX