Scarefriends returns to dress Lansdowne this spooky season

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They’re back – snooping around corners, sneaking over fences, tiptoeing around people’s yards. The Scarecrows have returned to Lansdowne to add some cheerfulness to the second fall amid the gloom of the pandemic.


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“For a second year in a row, the COVID-19 pandemic canceled many of our events, but the Lansdowne Association For Revitalization (LAFR) thought inviting our ‘scary friends’ would be a good way to bring fun and smiles to our communities, ”said Donna Dempsey of LAFR.

Starting in 2018, LAFR helped scarecrows sneak into Lansdowne to bring some joy. From Miss Daisy to Hubert the Hunter, from Canadian Gothic to Garden Gal, they’ve brought smiles, sniffles and laughs. Soon, they are everywhere, silently enlivening the neighborhoods.

Now on their fourth visit, they are a happily awaited tradition. But COVID-19 continues to refuse to leave and is doing what it can to destroy yet another source of joy.

“Due to social distancing rules and a concern for public health and safety during this pandemic, we have been forced to cancel the regular workshop that we are presenting in early September at the fairgrounds,” Dempsey said. “LAFR has always invited interested people, young and old, to bring material to make a scarecrow to the workshop. We also provided materials of your choice, including straw from a local farm, and assisted the workshop. But it’s still not sure, so LAFR has canceled the workshop and our competition again this year. We hope to continue with them when COVID-19 is finally over. “

People love their scarecrows, and this year they started showing up even before the event started. LAFR continues the event, known as Scarecrow Sightings, and hopes to see “fearfriends” popping up everywhere.


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“We originally released our information to residents of the Lansdowne area, but all residents of (Leeds Township and the Thousand Islands) are welcome to join in on the fun,” she said. “Everyone is welcome to create scarefolks and scarecritters to add some humor and fun to the community. We are living through a stressful time during this pandemic and having something fun to do and research creates a lively atmosphere in our village community. People look forward to the new scary ones that sometimes appear overnight. Go ahead and be creative – there are a lot of people you can honor, from nurses, teachers, and students to restaurant workers and farmers. There is no limit to what could make a fun scary friend to add to our community.

Making up your own fears doesn’t have to be difficult.

Lilly of the Valley is just one of the spooky friends who have come to Lansdowne for the Lansdowne Association's annual Scarecrow Sightings for Revitalization event which runs through November 1.  Provided by the Lansdowne Association for Revitalization
Lilly of the Valley is just one of the spooky friends who have come to Lansdowne for the Lansdowne Association’s annual Scarecrow Sightings for Revitalization event which runs through November 1. Provided by the Lansdowne Association for Revitalization Photo by the Lansdowne Association for Revitalization /photo provided

“Some of the best materials to use include a sturdy cross-shaped frame to define a body and shoulders, clothes to dress your scarecrow, straw to stuff the body, gloves to create hands and of course boots or shoes, wigs, and hats to finish off the character, ”Dempsey said. “I used water bottles and pool noodles to stuff the arms and legs of my scarecrows. Tights filled with duvet fleece make beautiful arms and legs. Your creation is only limited by your imagination, and from what I’ve seen so far, there are some very imaginative people in our community.

“The materials can be found in your garage, attic and storage spaces. When you clean your wardrobe next time, save whatever clothes you might need for the next scarecrow. You might also find great deals at yard sales. I found a pretty wedding dress at the local flea market. Last year we did a bride and groom, and the dress was just perfect.


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As they come to life, these spooky friends want to be seen, and they can go anywhere, on your lawn or porch, or maybe a local business will let you dress up their storefront. with your creations. Park benches, band stands, wherever they can take people – every space is suitable if you have the right permission to use it.

“We’re just waiting to see what our creatives produce this year,” Dempsey said. “We invite you to make as many scarecrows as you want. Usually one scarecrow will spark one idea for another. We’re not running a contest again this year, so you don’t need to enter the scarecrows, but we’d love to have you send us a photo of your work including the location and names of the creators. I will post it on our LAFR Facebook page so that anyone can check it out to see what imaginative scarecrows have come to reside in our community.

LAFR hopes to see the competition continue in the future, always finding ways to do so. Now in their fourth year, they are very happy with the way this is developing despite the unusual challenges. They hope one day they can organize a Scarecrow Sightings Festival at Lansdowne.

“LAFR would like to thank all of the participants who are designing and creating scarecrows for 2021,” said Dempsey. “The variety of characters is incredible and there is always a smile to accompany these new seasonal residents of our community. “

Scarecrow Sightings runs in Leeds Township and the Thousand Islands until November 1. To share your scary friends, send photos to [email protected]



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