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Jennings Sunday: Annual contest dresses up North Vernon streets

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THE scarecrows already are taking their places on the streets of North Vernon, but there is time for a few late arrivals in the annual scarecrow contest.

“We are not going to be real rigid about the deadline as long as they’re registered before the voting begins,” said Judy Ross, director of tourism. “But if they want their scarecrow to win a prize, they do need to be


For nearly a decade, life-size scarecrows have been created by businesspeople, group members and individuals for display in locations throughout North Vernon each October. Scarecrows compete for prizes, which are awarded during the Halloween celebration and parade in North Vernon at the end of the month.

The annual event is sponsored by the North Vernon Merchants Association.

Registration forms to enter a scarecrow for judging can be picked up in three downtown businesses in North Vernon: The Antique Store, Dittos and Perfect Day Cafe. The extended deadline is Wednesday.

According to Ross, it’s going to be a great year for the scarecrows lounging around lampposts, in the park and up and down the streets of North Vernon.

“We already have many entries, and I have seen several scarecrows who are not officially registered. There are even some in Vernon,” she said.

Though the contest originally was designed to decorate downtown North Vernon for the Halloween season, the spirit has spread through Jennings County. Scarecrows outside North Vernon can be registered in the


“We’re doing something different this year,” said Richard Sanders of the North Vernon Merchants Association. “Instead of having judges select the best scarecrows, the general public will vote for the scarecrows they think are the best.”

The voting will begin Oct. 20. People wishing to vote can cast ballots in one of four North Vernon Stores: The Antiques Store, Dittos, Natures Health and Perfect Day Cafe. No purchase is required to vote.

“Just make your scarecrow to represent a theme that people will recognize. And make it strong so the wind doesn’t blow it apart,” Sanders said. “Just have some fun with this.”

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