Yarmouth Harvest Festival promises 'scarecrow-making, friend-raising'

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YARMOUTH — Community Services is teaming up with local Rotarians and members of Interact for the fourth annual Harvest Festival on Oct. 14. 

The festival – which YCS director Karyn MacNeill called a “drive-through scarecrow-making and friend-raising event” – will take place on the Town Hall green from 10 a.m. until 1 p.m. 

MacNeill started Harvest Fest when she joined YCS four years ago as a way to forge a partnership with the Rotary Club. During the festival from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., the Rotary Club will also be collecting lightly-used furniture to donate to Furniture Friends in Westbrook. 

Furniture Friends gathers donated furniture to deliver to veterans, immigrants, and others in need in the Greater Portland area.

The festival is free and attendees are encouraged to bring their own clothes to stuff with provided hay to create their own lawn decoration. YCS will also provide twine and fabric. Wood for framing will be donated by the event’s sponsor, Hancock Lumber. 

About 30 Rotary and Interact members volunteer each year to make the event possible. 

“We need volunteers to make it free,” MacNeill said. 

According to MacNeill, about 75 to 80 scarecrows are made each year by about 300 to 400 people. 

“It’s a neat little stop (and) a great Saturday event to start fall,” MacNeill said.

The festival will also include light refreshments, life-size games, and pumpkin bowling – which, according to 15-year Rotarian Ed Nolde, uses quart-sized milk containers as pins and “head-sized” pumpkins as bowling balls. 

“Its so funny to watch (kids bowling),” Nolde said. “They really get into it … there are no rules.”

Nolde said the annual Harvest Festival is a great way to raise awareness of service projects Rotary and Interact does both locally, nationally, and internationally. 

“(The Harvest Festival) really is fun for all ages,” MacNeill said. 

Jocelyn Van Saun can be reached at 781-3661, ext. 183 or jvansaun@theforecaster.net. Follow her on Twitter @JocelynVanSaun.

Sheryl Winchester, left, and her daughter Kyla constructing a scarecrow at last year’s third annual Harvest Festival in Yarmouth. 

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