Chamber Scarecrow Invasion canceled, at least for this year
The Scarecrow Invasion, a popular autumn activity sponsored by the Gilmer Chamber of Commerce, will not take place this year, confirmed the local chamber’s president last week.
“After many successful years, the Gilmer Chamber will not be sponsoring Scarecrow Invasion this fall due to waning participation and increased safety and property concerns,” read a recent statement.
The October festivity invited local merchants and residents to build and decorate their own scarecrows then put them up in the weeks prior to Halloween.
With many of the scarecrows either circling the downtown square or lining sidewalks or streets, it wasn’t unusual for them to be inadvertently put up on private property, said Gilmer Chamber president Paige Green.
Some of the life-size decorations also created traffic obstacles and hazards at downtown crosswalks, Green added.
Scarecrow building workshops had been held each fall at Mountain Ridge Garden Shop on River Street, but the shop has since closed.
“We did lose one of our key partners (in Mountain Ridge),” said Green.
Although the chamber will not oversee the invasion activities or issue awards for “best scarecrows” this year, local merchants are still welcome to decorate their storefronts while following applicable city ordinances.
“We appreciate all our local businesses and organizations that have participated in the past and encourage all to continue the fall spirit by decorating their own storefronts,” said Green. “We’re encouraging businesses to decorate their windows and storefronts. You can obviously put scarecrows on your own property, just not in public areas.”