Daily photos by Gary Cosby Jr.|
“The King Crow,” an Elvis replica by Steve and Cheryl Kennamer with Kennamer Cove Trading Post, won judges choice at the Scarecrow Trail at Huntsville Botanical Garden. “It was a team effort,” Steve Kennamer said. “You don’t do it to try to win. We just did the best we could.”
a good time
Huntsville Botanical Garden offers 108 scarecrows, including local ‘Big’ and ‘Little’
By Andrea Brunty and Patrice Stewart
The jet black corn-husk hair and bushy sideburns rustle in the breeze as “The King Crow” serenades the black birds perched on his stage along the Scarecrow Trail.
Scarecrows are supposed to scare the crows away, but “they had to come see Elvis” at Huntsville Botanical Garden, said Steve Kennamer, whose first-ever submission won the judges choice award.
Area clubs, businesses, families and schools continued their support for the seventh annual event with 108 creative submissions. The trail has been recognized as a top 20 tourist attraction by the Southeast Tourism Society, and the garden had 4,000 visitors in September.
“People look forward to it every year,” said Caroline Morris, special events coordinator.
Though some groups submit entries each year, she said, this year has a lot of new faces — or gourds in this case.
One of those new faces is Big Brothers Big Sisters of Morgan County.
The botanical garden donated free passes for the group’s members and asked it to participate in the annual trail, said program director Carrie Spurling.
“It’s been exciting for our Littles to see Morgan County be represented over in Huntsville,” Spurling said. “It was a way, I think, to get our Littles and Bigs involved in something cultural, not just to see our scarecrow, but other events (at the garden), too.”
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Morgan County’s scarecrow is on display at Huntsville Botanical Garden.
Board member Judy Garrie designed “Big Bro Crow” and, with Sarah Richardson’s help, created the “Big” scarecrow pushing a “Little” crow in a wheelbarrow full of leaves.
Big and little or old and young, “every single one is completely different,” Morris said.
The beginning of life is depicted in “It’s a Girl: Crowetta,” from a hospital maternity unit, and “Remedy for Crow’s Feet” shows a gray-haired, burlap-faced woman at a cosmetic counter. An older gentleman escorts two dolled-up ladies to “Putting on the Ritz at the Regency” by Regency Retirement Village.
“I notice something different every time I look at them, and I see (the trail) every day,” Morris said.
While the scarecrows’ bodies are stuffed with straw or pantyhose filled with plastic bags, many seem to have hearts beating for real social causes.
The Distance Divas, for example, call attention to Breast Cancer Awareness Month with their female runner scarecrows dressed in pink. “Share the Love” by the St. John’s Junior High Youth Ministry shows the hungry and homeless being helped by teens with bags and cans.
Puns overflow in the gardens, with names like “Scarlett Cro’Hara” by the Alabama Institute for Deaf and Blind and “PRIMEarily Stuffed,” featuring a chef and waitress with menu for Ruth’s Chris Steak House in the new Embassy Suites hotel.
Fite Building Co. of Decatur took care of business and created a construction worker scarecrow who is a “Jack of All Trades.”
Though most scarecrows have painted gourd heads like Elvis, some entries are fashioned with everything from painted burlap to watering cans.
Steve Kennamer said his wife, Cheryl, decided on Elvis because this year is the 30th anniversary of his death. While Steve built the stage and helped with the structure and details, Cheryl sewed the King’s polyester costume and created his hair. To make Elvis’ hands, Steve took rubber gloves and put wire inside to make them flexible.
“We used PVC to make the turns and curves and shaped wire and stuffed it with foam to give it a smooth look” to create the body, he said.
“We did spend a lot of time on it. ... We just tried to do the best we could,” he said. “It was a team effort. You don’t do it to try to win.”
The Redstone Gardening Club’s entry dived right into a botanical theme for the Scarecrow Trail in Huntsville. Fishnet-stocking-fitted legs wearing pink high-heeled shoes stick out of a bucket of flowers for “Head Over Heels for Gardening.”
You can tell the time and effort the Kennamers and a few others put in isn’t wasted. He’s proud of his work.
“We hope that it’s good for the garden and hope that people would come and appreciate and like it,” he said.
Morris said she hopes this fall’s first-timers will repeat next year and help the trail grow to 150 submissions in 2008.
Big Brothers Big Sisters had such a good experience, it has the next five scarecrow ideas planned, Spurling said.
The wild and wacky crows display continues through October and culminates with two special events: “Hoot in the Woods” for all ages Oct. 26 and 27 from 6 to 9 p.m., and “BOO-Tanica” for children Oct. 27 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
If you go
What: Seventh annual Scarecrow Trail, ending with several events
When: Through October, with “Hoot in the Woods” on Oct. 26-27 from 6 to 9 p.m. (hayrides, enchanted forest, creepy sorghum maze, ghost stories, a “Boo-ffet” of s’mores, and “Scary-oki”), plus BOO-Tanica in the Children’s Garden on Oct. 27 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. (costume contest at 10 a.m., followed by caldron grab, jack-o’-lantern jump and other games)
Where: Huntsville Botanical Garden, 4747 Bob Wallace Ave.
Admission: Regular garden admission ($10 for adults, $7 for children under age 18) for the Scarecrow Trail, with varying fees for other events; call 830-4447 or check www.hsvbg.org.
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