Uptown should be bird-free with all the scarecrows on display, but the goal for these autumnal decorations is to attract attention, not scare it away.
A firefighter and a policeman, an ophthalmologist with an eyeball for a head and even a knock-off Willie Nelson all stand in Uptown stuffed with hay. The scarecrows are part of a project spearheaded by Uptown Manager Lara Hudson. The idea to invite local businesses to decorate Uptown with their own custom scarecrows was one she adopted after seeing it in other cities.
“The best ideas are often the ones you borrow,” she said with a laugh. “Anything we can do that brings people Uptown that may not have been up there before, we’re going to try. It’s just another chance to highlight our local businesses and Uptown area.”
She said 22 teams signed up to design and decorate their own scarecrows, and the public was invited to cast their ballots for crowd favorites. Three out-of-town judges were invited to come in unannounced, she said, to secretly score the displays and crown a champion. In future years, Hudson said she hopes to expand this event with a beer tasting, similar to Uptown’s wine walks, that will take participants to each scarecrow to see the displays.
Outside of Countybank, a posh banker donning a black suit and top hat clings to a sack of cash. Dayle Mumford, vice president and financial center manager, said the bank’s employees wanted their scarecrow to come across as a sophisticated banker named C.B. Banks.
“We definitely like to support Uptown events,” she said. “We want to support anything that’s right here in our backyard.”
Angie Creswell and Allie Wardlaw, who both work at Greenwood Ear, Nose and Throat, worked hurriedly to get their scarecrows up in just two days. Perched outside of Watson Law Firm, one hay-stuffed doctor is examining a patient whose face was completed with realistic ears and a nose.
Creswell said she wanted to show off what their office was all about, so they created a scene that would be a regular sight at work. The doctor’s examination of the patient is complete with a sinuscope she said they made out of a pool noodle, some string and other items lying around the house.
“When she found out about this, she knew I had a lot of stuff at my house, so she just came over and we started working,” Wardlaw said. “We’ve got to keep an eye out, because if they do something like this for Christmas we definitely want to be a part of that.”
Creswell said before agreeing to decorate a scarecrow for Uptown, she noticed Ninety Six was doing a similar project. Greenwood ENT has scarecrows at both locations, and Ninety Six’s Tourism Director Margie Blalock said the town amassed more than 50 scarecrows within a tenth of a mile along the town’s main thoroughfare.