Scarecrows cropping up Friday for Tonganoxie Spooktacular
Blackbirds beware: Scarecrows will be in full force Friday night in downtown Tonganoxie.
The annual Spooktacular event, which will be 6 to 8 p.m. Friday in downtown Tonganoxie, has a new feature with a scarecrow-decorating contest. Businesses picked up kits from Kansas Country South store in Tonganoxie earlier this month for making scarecrows that they’ve been displaying.
Tonganoxie Chamber of Commerce Director Susan Freemyer said the hardware for the kits was purchased locally and designed by Dennis Bixby and built by Bixby and Ken Freemyer. Kansas Country South donated straw for the kits.
From there, businesses — 18 had signed up for kits as of Tuesday morning — built their own scarecrows, which dot Fourth Street and can be found elsewhere around Tonganoxie.
People can “vote” for each scarecrow at its respective business by donation or by simply casting a vote. A raffle will take place at Spooktacular for various prizes from the votes cast.
Susan Freemyer said the scarecrow contest has been well received.
“It’s been really accepted, and the businesses are excited,” she said. “It’s kind of like we’ve infused people with some enthusiasm.”
Scarecrows from businesses not downtown will have their scarecrows on display downtown for Spooktacular and voting will continue during the event. The winner will be announced later in the evening and a traveling trophy, carved by Bixby, will be presented.
Of course, there are other activities planned for the event, which Tonganoxie schools and the Chamber of Commerce are sponsoring.
Classrooms at Tonganoxie Elementary School will be open for trick-or-treaters, as will several downtown businesses.
Other events and offerings scheduled for downtown:
• Haunted Hallway, sponsored by H. Avenue and Vintage Soap and Bath.
• Pumpkin Carving Contest, sponsored by the Coffee Depot.
• $3 slices of pizza and drink, sponsored by Gambino’s and T-3, a new organization in Tonganoxie focused on building a safer and healthier community.
• Spooktacular costume contest, sponsored by Kelly Law Office.
• Sweet potato carving, sponsored by Dennis Bixby.
• Spooktacular photos, sponsored by H. Avenue and Melissa Mathia Photography.
• Spooktacular shirts.
There also will be a DJ at the event.
Spooktacular has been a big event in the downtown district in years past, and Freemyer expects downtown to again be buzzing Friday night.
“One thing that really makes me feel good is that before I started taking registrations for who’s giving out candy, there were businesses asking about handing out candy,” Freemyer said. “That says a lot about the community. They care so much about the community and kids in the community.”