ASHLAND – They may not all be scary, but the hay-filled Halloween decorations known as scarecrows are set to descend upon downtown Ashland once again.

The Ashland Area Chamber of Commerce is hosting the annual Scarecrow Decorating Contest once more. Entries can be brought to the Gift Niche starting Friday, Oct. 18.

The contest entries will be displayed on lampposts throughout downtown Ashland through Oct. 31. Mary Ziegenbein, contest organizer, will instruct competitors where to display their creations. For more information, call Ziegenbein at 402-480-3346.

There are a few rules for this contest, which involves prizes for the top scarecrow in each of the following categories: groups (business, school, organization, etc.) and individuals.

Scarecrows must be at least four feet tall and constructed so they can withstand the elements, including wind and rain. Entries need to include the name and phone number of the competitor and be attached to the body of the scarecrow.

No political or religious statements will be allowed. Entries must be in good taste, which will be determined by the event chairpersons. Judging will be based on how unique the scarecrow is and how well it is constructed.

Winners will be announced in The Ashland Gazette and will be posted on the Gift Niche’s front door.

Winners will receive $25 in Chamber Bucks, which can be used at any participating Ashland area merchant that is a member of the Chamber of Commerce.

Contestants are responsible for removing the scarecrows from the downtown area by Nov. 1.

Last year, Jackie Fudge and Erin Beranek’s witch took first place in the individual category. In the business category, “Pennywise” the clown, made by Keni Jane Danner and Cheri O’Kelly of Cheri O’s, won first place.

Freaky Frolics will take place on Saturday, Oct. 26 in downtown Ashland at 4 p.m. The event is sponsored by the Ashland Junior Woman’s Club. Look for more details in next week’s Gazette.

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