In only eight days, the Scarecrow Festival will make its highly-anticipated return to downtown Washington C.H.
“The last Scarecrow Festival was held in 2008,” said Mekia Rhoades, president of Main Street Fayette, the committee that organized the revival of this event in conjunction with Fayette County Travel & Tourism, the Fayette County Chamber of Commerce, and the City of Washington Court House. “Last year, we started discussions about bringing it back. We just thought it would be something great for the community for this popular festival to return.”
It’s returning in a big way Sept. 16-18 as organizers swung for the fences this year when bringing in the entertainment. Country music superstar and record producer, Aaron Tippin, will be the headline entertainer, performing Saturday, Sept. 17 at 8 p.m. on the main stage.
This year marks Tippin’s 25th year as a recording artist and the country legend admits that he looks at his career longevity with a bit of amazement.
“I think about it and go, ‘Wow. What am I still doing here?’” Tippin said. “I look at the flight we took off in,” referring to his fellow newcomers at the time of his career launch.
“A lot of them are gone, it seems,” he said. “Some quit by choice. Some ran out from under it, but to be here 25 years doing it, I am the luckiest hillbilly that ever lived.”
Although Tippin is the headliner, the entertainment doesn’t stop there as the entire weekend is jam-packed with rides, food, games and amusement for the entire family.
It all kicks off at noon Friday, Sept. 16 with opening ceremonies and the crowning of the Scarecrow Queen at the corner of East Court Street and North Main Street. Vendor booths and amusements will open at noon and will be available until 11 p.m. Any vendors still interested in participating in the festival should call Rhoades at 740-313-7062 as soon as possible.
Also on Friday from 5-7 p.m., kids’ activities will take place on the courthouse lawn. The “Bluegrass Ramblers” will take to the main stage from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.
From 7-9 p.m. Friday, an art gallery open house will be held at Creative Court House, located at 143 N. Main St.
The highlight of the evening will be a performance from John Crabtree, a popular country music artist. With influences ranging from Conway Twitty, Waylon Jennings to Elvis, Crabtree has found that balance to please most all country music enthusiasts.
“We owe it to those fans who have supported country music for the last 50 years to not turn our backs on them now,” Crabtree says on his website. “The only reason country music is where it is today is because of these fans.”
Crabtree will entertain the crowd from 8-10 p.m. on the main stage.
The evening will also conclude with a fire show from 9:15 to 9:45 p.m. on the parking lot at South Main and East East streets.
For the very first time at the Scarecrow Festival, there will be a Scarecrow 5k Walk/Run on Saturday morning sponsored by Court House Fitness. All proceeds from the 5k will benefit United Way.
Pre-registration is $20 on www.scarecrow5k.ezregister.com or drop off a check or cash with the application and waiver at Court House Fitness, Inc., 215 E. Court St. or at Fayette County Travel and Tourism, 101 E. East St. Checks can be made payable to personal trainer, Trey Tompkins.
Race day registration is $25. The race will begin at 9 a.m. and check-in will start at 8 a.m. The start and finish will be at the intersection of East Court Street and North Main Street.
“All of the runners will receive a medal and a swag bag that includes a t-shirt and a water bottle,” said Jolinda Van Dyke, executive director of Fayette County Travel & Tourism. “The top three male and female finishers will also receive a prize. This should be a well-attended event and it’s for a great cause.”
Vendor booths, rides and amusements will be open Saturday from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.
Square dancers will perform at 11 a.m. Saturday on the main stage and a car show, sponsored by the Drag’n Angels, will also be held from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on South Main Street.
Stilt walkers will perform at noon. From 1-7 p.m., there will be kids’ activities on the courthouse lawn, as well as sidewalk chalk and a hula hoop contest.
Local band, “Derailed,” will perform from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m.
On Saturday from 2-5 p.m., the Cincinnati Circus Company will entertain the crowd with fire walkers, stilt walkers, juggling and a magic show.
Also from Cincinnati, Irish dancers will take the stage from 3 to 3:45 p.m. Local band, “Johnny Lawless,” will perform on the main stage from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m.
“Also this year, there will be a beer garden for the adults, open from 6 to 11 p.m. on Saturday on the parking lot at the corner of South Main and East East streets,” said Rhoades.
Adam Garman, a comedian from Ross County, will provide the laughs at 6:30 p.m. on the main stage, followed by the Aaron Tippin performance, which is sure to draw a large crowd.
This exciting festival wraps up on Sunday, Sept. 18 with IMPACT Worship & Witness performing on the main stage at 1 p.m. A hamburger cook-off will be held on the courthouse lawn beginning at 2 p.m. Also on Sunday, vendor booths and amusements will be open from 12-4 p.m.
“Come out and join us next weekend,” said Rhoades. “We’re expecting it to be a great community festival.”