Take a ride down RiverWinds Drive, and you might be surprised at what you see. Scarecrows and fall displays of every kind lining the light poles?
Where did they come from?
It’s called Scarecrows on Parade, and they are the handy work of businesses, organizations, and families in the West Deptford community.
Currently in its fourth year, Scarecrows on Parade is held annually by the West Deptford Historical Association. The mission is to encourage members of the community to usher in the fall season with their own unique style.
The idea for Scarecrows on Parade started four years ago when two members of the West Deptford Historical Association, April Maska and Noreen Mikulski, thought of the idea.
“One of our goals is not to just do history, but to do activities that get the community together,” says Mikulski.
Since the beginning, Mikulski says the township has done a great job supporting the event, which is run through the West Deptford Public Library. Even though Scarecrows on Parade officially kicked-off Oct. 6, Mikulski says it is not too late for residents or organizations to get in all the fall fun.
Those interested in registering, simply need to sign up for a light pole. All light poles on RiverWinds Drive are assigned by number, and each participant will decorate the pole with any kind of scarecrow and fall decorations they desire.
However, there are some guidelines for what is allowed as part of the light post decoration. For example, the decorations around the light post cannot obstruct the sidewalk in any way. Also, the historical association discourages Halloween themed light posts that are too scary.
“It’s just something to enjoy when you go up and down RiverWinds Drive,” says Maska. “The response is always positive.”
All light post scarecrows will stay up from now to Nov. 4, when they are taken down by the participants and members of the historical association. After the displays are done, participatory certificates are given to everyone who created a display.
Yet, the displays do not only help to bring some festive cheer to RiverWinds Drive, they also help with a good cause by raising money for the West Deptford Historical Association. With each light post registration, the historical association asks for a $10 donation, which goes directly into funding the other community events, such as the “Christmas Lights Bus Tour.” Mikulski says it is important for the historical to maintain these events because of the way they bring the community together.
“West Deptford has a really old history, and it’s a really strong history,” says Mikulski. “We don’t want to lose that history.”
After witnessing the success of Scarecrows on Parade, the historical association is planning launch a similar event for the winter. However, instead of scarecrows, participants will work on decorating light posts with there own homemade winter wreath. Mikulski explains that wreaths are not required to be holiday themed, they can also simply be winter themed.
Registration for wreath decorating will run from Dec. 1 to Jan. 1. During this time registration will also be available at the West Deptford Public Library for the light posts, with a $10 donation.