Traditions often start in small ways: A potluck at your best friend’s, a candle placed on a mantle to remember a departed loved one.
Or, traditions can start off with a bang. In 2015, during the inaugural Scarecrows Around Town event, nearly 100 scarecrows were erected around town in celebration of the upcoming Fort Verde Days.
Last year, the event only gathered steam, culminating in an extensive voting process to determine winners in five categories.
Though the formal voting process has been halted this year, starting on Labor Day and extending through Halloween residents are once again invited to construct scarecrows or haul them out of previous years’ storage for display.
Organizers encourage participants to coordinate their scarecrow designs with this year’s Fort Verde Days parade theme, Remembering Pioneer Days, but any design is welcome.
Don’t let the antiquated concepts fool you, though: It’s 2017, and the event is getting a tech upgrade via social media.
Participants are asked to post a photo with the location of their scarecrows to facebook.conm/visitcampverde under the Scarecrows Around Town event tab.
“This will help inspire more participation and allow for self-guided scarecrow tours,” said Nikki Miller of Camp Verde Promotions. “It will be just for fun to feature the whimsy of the community with a timeless tradition.”
Diane Scantlebury, of the Town of Camp Verde Tree Advisory Committee, said that the “instant popularity of the event” is a sign of community involvement among both resident and visitor populations.
“You probably know that Camp Verde was basically created to provide food for the fort, the territorial capitol of Prescott and later the miners in Jerome,” Scantlebury said. “Although you may think of scarecrows as a Midwestern USA tradition, I think you’ll find some version of them anywhere that people are trying to protect their crops and so fits right in with our local history.”
Two scarecrow-building workshops take place at Fort Verde State Historic Park, Friday and Saturday, Sept. 8 and 9, at 1 p.m.