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Scarecrow builders don't mind the short straw

October 13, 2012|By ANDREW SCHOTZ | andrews@herald-mail.com
  • Cheyenne Gravley grabs her scarecrow that she made at the City's annual Fall festival Harvest Hoedown.
By Yvette May/Staff Photographer

The bodies slung over people’s shoulders at Fairgrounds Park on Saturday weren’t human.

They were straw-filled scarecrows dressed in donated shirts and jeans.

The scarecrow station was one of the most popular spots at Saturday’s Harvest Hoedown, an annual fall celebration thrown by the city of Hagerstown.

Robin E. Roberson, executive director of the Community Free Clinic, said Goodwill donated enough clothing for 500 scarecrows, including the pantyhose that get stuffed in the first step of the process.

Vivienne Jensen, a Community Free Clinic volunteer, gave instructions as parent-and-child teams stepped up to the tables of supplies.

Roberson cut strings that were needed to hold the scarecrow body segments intact and together — three short pieces, one long piece.

Ashley Dubé was the adult in one scarecrow-building crew, along with her 7-year-old daughter, Hailey Dubé, and 6-year-old Madison Crawford, who is in first grade with Hailey at Potomac Heights Elementary School.

After getting past the legs and torso stages, the team hit a snag in the final assembly.

At that point, Hailey and Madison hadn’t come up with a name for their creation, but they agreed it was a boy.

Hailey’s mother said they planned to use pine cones for eyes.

On a sunny, breezy fall afternoon, there were several lines at the event — for face-painting, for food sold by the Hagerstown Police Athletic League, for pony rides.

The balloon-creature line moved rapidly, as Frank Culler of Waynesboro, Pa., and Jim Greer of Hagerstown filled requests in roughly a minute apiece — a flower, a giraffe, a butterfly, a “super silly hat.”

The soundtrack for the day came from the music stage. Singers covered tunes such as “House of the Rising Sun” and “Johnny B. Goode.”

The Washington County Antique Tractor Club provided hay rides.

The petting zoo had furry and feathered animals one might expect, but also a ball python, which drew a crowd of eager children and apprehensive parents.

“I’ve seen a lot of brave girls today,” said python handler Rob Raifsnider of Chambersburg, Pa.

The 4-foot-long snake has never bitten anyone and is very friendly, he said.

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