Shops in Fort Langley regularly dress up their surroundings to celebrate, but when the celebration is Cranberry Festival, decorating ideas aren't as abundant.
Step in the scarecrow. A traditional figure of harvest time, the scarecrow spends his days lonely in a field keeping birds from the farmer's crops. Sun, rain and sometimes snow fall upon him and what does he get in return? Usually a pretty shabby outfit.
That changes with the coming of Cranberry Festival in Fort Langley. Businesses take it upon themselves to create scarecrows that reflect their shops.
"The main thing is the participation," said Jan Choquette owner of Beatniks Bistro, and one of the organizers of the scarecrow contest. "It's a fun thing."
Last year, seven Fort Langley businesses participated, but this year, scarecrows seem to be more popular.
"Already I'm seeing some really fabulous scarecrows out there. More than I did last year," Choquette noted.
She added that the local chiropractor office has one out that may bend the laws of being a scarecrow since it looks like a skeleton, and Cherry Bomb Salon has its offering on display.
"Be creative," she said. It is apparently the only rule in the contest, and that the scarecrow should be dressed up to, "reflect your business somehow."
Last year, Marcia Duncan of Shine Jewels promised to come out with a "bigger and blingier" scarecrow this year.
"I'm going to have to get my thinking cap out," Duncan commented. "I will get creative."
"It's a great contest," Choquette chimed in. "People stop and take photos of the scarecrows and of themselves, with them, with their arms thrown around them. It's a lot of fun."
Of her own shop's scarecrow entry, Choquette noted, "I've yet to find a little something to make it a bit different from last year."
The lucky scarecrow couple in front of Beatniks gets served coffee in the morning and pseudo wine at night.
Beats the heck out of standing in a farmer's field chasing away the birds.
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