ST. CHARLES – Eleven-year-old Robbie Dzierzanowski spent much of Friday along the Fox River, helping Scarecrow Fest attendees make their very own scarecrows.
“It’s tiring. It’s warm. It makes you really thirsty,” the Boy Scout said.
But, he added, “It’s fun because you get to help people.”
Members of Boy Scout Troop 60 will continue to help families build scarecrows today and Sunday in two downtown St. Charles locations: along First Street near the river and along the river walk near the Municipal Center.
The festival also features a carnival, a petting zoo, live entertainment and, among other elements, scarecrow displays.
Scarecrow Fest is produced by the Greater St. Charles Convention and Visitors Bureau. Ravenswood Event Services provided operational support.
Late Friday afternoon, bureau Executive Director Amy Egolf reflected on the first day of the festival. Not only was the weather perfect, she said, but things were going smoothly.
“I am extremely pleased,” Egolf said.
She commended Ravenswood for its contributions, including the signs for no-show scarecrow displays, the addition of a vintage market, the inclusion of more specialty food vendors and a partnership with Windy Acres Farm that brought pumpkin carving to the event Friday.
Of Ravenswood, Egolf said, “They really understand the need for uniqueness.”
Egolf hopes Scarecrow Fest will continue to build partnerships with businesses and organizations. She noted the partnership between Boy Scout Troop 60, Fifth Third Bank and Savers regarding the make-your-own-scarecrow event.
This year, Fifth Third Bank – a sponsor since the festival’s beginning – provided financial support for the activity so that participants will not be asked for donations.
“I didn’t want the people to feel like they had to pay for it,” said Diane McCracken of Fifth Third Bank. “It truly is totally complimentary now.”
Troop 60 uses the money from Scarecrow Fest for camping throughout the year, Assistant Scoutmaster Dan Brewster said.
Savers donated clothing for the scarecrows. Tiffany Stawicki, a supervisor at the St. Charles store, said Savers donates unsold clothing to third-world countries, so it is nice to see the clothes being used firsthand.
Stawicki said Savers made sure to donate clothing – a mix of styles, sizes and colors – in good condition.
“We still want our scarecrows to look good,” she said.
Attendees can, however, bring their own clothes for the activity. That’s what Emily Smith of St. Charles did. Her four children, along with two others, worked together to make a scarecrow on Friday after enjoying the rides.
“This was a break for us,” said Smith, snapping pictures of the kids and their finished product.