NEWINGTON â For the first time in several years, the townâs campus will be decorated with colorful and creative creatures this October.
Newington Parks and Recreationâs Annual Scarecrow Contest is returning after a two-year hiatus due to the covid-19 pandemic and construction on the new Town Hall.
âWe got two phone calls about it a couple weeks ago and everyone in our office said âhey, we should bring that contest back,ââ Parks and Recreation Superintendent Bill DeMaio told the Herald Wednesday. âWeâll see how it goes but Iâm excited about it.â
Since the department announced the competitionâs 2022 return on social media and around town, several community groups and families have already stepped up to participate.
DeMaio said the Newington Transition Academy as well as the school districtâs preschool and afterschool programs are each working on creating scarecrows to enter into the contest.
âPeople are busy, we understand that, but we really want to promote family quality time and help businesses to get some publicity,â DeMaio said. âWe canât wait to see how creative our Newington residents will be this year.â
Entries will be judged in two categories: scarecrows made by businesses and non-profit organizations and scarecrows made by families, friends or individual residents.
People should pre-register their scarecrows as soon as possible or at least by Friday, Oct. 14 because installation day is set to take place next Saturday, Oct. 15 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Coffee and donuts will be provided at the Mortensen Community Center Community CafĂ© for people as they put up their scarecrows. Halloween music and train rides will also be offered.
Scarecrows must be able to fit within an 8-ft.-by-8 ft. space and be durable enough to withstand the elements for the duration of the voting period.
The cost to register is a $5 donation to the Newington Extravaganza Fireworks. People can register in the departmentâs office in Town Hall or at newingtonct.gov/parksandrec.
Judging will take place on Newington Parks and Recreationâs Facebook page and will be open through Nov. 8.
People can vote for one scarecrow in the business/non-profit category and one in the family category.
The business/non-profit winner will receive a free business card advertisement in the departmentâs winter brochure, valued at $250. The seasonal brochure is distributed to over 13,500 households in town.
The Family/Friends category will have a first and second place winner. The top entrant will receive a $100 gift certificate for any program offered by Newington Parks and Recreation and second place will receive a $50 gift card for programs.
Erica Drzewiecki can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.