The 28th annual St. Charles Scarecrow Fest saw thousands of residents and visitors from around the state, as well as around the country, converge on St. Charles over the course of the three-day festival to vote for their favorite handmade scarecrows from the more than 120 entries on display.
Winners were recognized on stage at the Cadence Health Entertainment Stage in Lincoln Park during closing ceremonies on Sunday. Here are the results:
Mechanical Scarecrow Category
- First prize ($400) — “Minions Rule!” by the Kiouressis family of Kenosha, Wis.
- Second prize ($300) — “Bridges: Something to ‘Hoot’ About” by Bridges Montessori Academy & Bridges Academy of St. Charles;
- Third prize ($200) — “ScarecRowers” by St. Charles Rowing Club
- First prize ($350) — “Despicable Me” by the Goodrich/Hogan family of Geneva;
- Second prize ($250) — “When Life Gives You Lemons…You Make Lemonade” by Lazarus House of St. Charles;
- Third prize ($150) — “Babywearing Scarecrow” by Babywearing International of North Central Illinois of Elburn
- First prize ($350) — “Rotten to the Cob” by Kelsey Rankin of Geneva;
- Second prize ($250) — “Timothy Crow” by Tom & Clare Groholski of Pingree Grove;
- Third prize ($150) — “Rescued is My Favorite Breed/Petrified Pets” by ROMP Italian Greyhound Rescue of Chicago
- First prize ($225) — “Bee Kind. Bee Happy. Bee You!” by St. Patrick Preschool of St. Charles;
- Second prize ($175) — “Swing Set Preschool Presents The Old Lady Who Lives in a Shoe” by Swing Set Preschool of St. Charles;
- Third prize ($125) — “Baker Station and Dr. Grill” by St. Charles Park District – Baker Station;
- Fourth prize ($75) — “Keep Calm and Love Minions” by Western DuPage Special Recreation Association of Carol Stream;
- Fifth prize ($50) — “Brownies Rock” by Brownie Troops 4802 and 4061 of Geneva;
- Sixth prize ($30) — “Rainbow Fish” by St. Mark’s Preschool of St. Charles
- First prize ($100) — “Fangs the Scarecrow Vampire” by the Deja/Schultz family of Sugar Grove;
- Second prize ($75) — “Scarecraft” by the Weibel family of Wayne;
- Third prize ($50) — “Zombie Chicken Coop” by the Rovge family of Chicago
St. Charles Business Category
- First prize (half-page business ad in Kane County Chronicle) — “Trellis Farm” by the Trellis Farm and Garden;
- Second prize (quarter-page business ad in Kane County Chronicle) — “The Tin Man” by Mr. Gutter
St. Charles’ signature fall festival, produced by the Greater St. Charles Convention & Visitors Bureau in conjunction with Ravenswood Event Services, has gained national recognition since its inception in 1985. In 2012, Scarecrow Fest was showcased on NBC’s Today Show as one of the top fall events in the country.
The 28th annual Scarecrow Fest drew several local celebrities including longtime Scarecrow Fest participant Ted Eynik, former Greater St. Charles Convention & Visitors Bureau executive director and Scarecrow Fest creator Jean Becker, Miss Illinois 2013 Brittany Smith of Elmhurst, Illinois Office of Tourism Deputy Director Jen Hoelzle, and the real life incarnations of the festival’s new scarecrow mascots Chuck and Char.
In addition to more than 100 unique, hand crafted scarecrows on display at Lincoln Park and at the brand new City parking lot on the site of the former VFW building at 3rd Street and Cedar, festival highlights included four areas of live entertainment at Lincoln Park, First Street, and on the north and south ends of the Riverwalk, Windy City Amusements Carnival, the Autumn on the Fox Arts & Crafts show in Pottawatomie Park, Colonial Ice Cream Eating Contest, Windy Acres Farm Pumpkin Carving, Great Tastes of Greater St. Charles, dozens of food vendors, merchants and sponsors, and the very popular Make Your Own Scarecrow – Presented by Fifth Third Bank.
The Bureau staff also personally greeted more than a dozen motorcoach tours that originated from Illinois, Indiana and Wisconsin, and staff and volunteers canvassed the festival grounds throughout the three-day event, collecting data from attendees in order to gauge the impact of the annual event.
“What we’ve found is that, even though the festival is popular among locals, there is a large portion of attendees that come from out of town, across the state and even around the country,” stated Amy Egolf, executive director of the Greater St. Charles Convention & Visitors Bureau. “We are so proud of this nationally-recognized event and hope it is another way to make visitors fall in love with this beautiful city” of St. Charles.
Produced annually by the Greater St. Charles Convention & Visitors Bureau, the festival is just one of many initiatives wages by the organization to promote the city of St. Charles, the villages of Elburn and Campton Hills and Campton and St. Charles Townships as a destination for leisure visitors, meetings, conventions, motorcoach groups, and sports events. The Greater St. Charles Convention & Visitors Bureau is funded by the Illinois Office of Tourism and a portion of the hotel/motel tax collected by St. Charles hotels. For additional information regarding the bureau’s marketing and sales activities, contact the bureau at 630-377-6161,800-777-4373 or www.visitstcharles.com.