Beginning early this morning, city officials began closing several streets in downtown Washington Court House as they prepare for the 2019 Scarecrow Festival.
According to Chelsie Baker, the Washington Court House Director of Economic Development, several city blocks will be closed to house the various parts of the festival, including vendors, food trucks, rides and games.
“Court Street starting at the intersection of Hinde and Court will be closed,” Baker said. “That intersection will still be open and residents will have the chance to turn down Hinde toward East Street or Market Street to drive around the festival. East Street will be open down to North Street and Market will be open to there as well. Main and Fayette streets will be closed from Market to East.”
The intersection of North Street and Court Street will additionally be open, forming a large rectangle around the festival. The streets will remain closed through Sunday, Sept. 22. Baker encouraged the community to travel safe and slow as the foot traffic in the area will be much higher than usual.
“Just keep in mind that we only close down these streets like this but once a year, for our big festival,” Baker said. “We appreciate residents being patient as I know it will be slower than what they are used to, but a lot of people have donated their time and worked hard to help put it on.”
Additionally, Baker took the time on Wednesday to encourage the community to join them for the festival, which starts Friday, Sept. 20 and will end on Sunday, Sept. 22. During the festival; vendors, food trucks, carnival rides and games, live music and more will be available to entertain the community. Seating for the main stage is limited and residents can bring their own chairs.
“I enjoy that we have people like Mekia Rhoades, Kelley Ford, Anne Quinn, Tina Dahmer, Stephanie Dunham, Chelsie Baker and many others that take their time to do good for our community,” Washington Court House City Manager Joe Denen said Wednesday. “The whole festival is great, but bringing about 5,000 people downtown on Saturday evening for a concert is fun. The band is important in that it is the draw for Saturday evening. However, for me the music is secondary to the setting. The atmosphere of the crowd, the sense of a shared event. I also appreciate that in an age of political division, the Scarecrow Festival is notable in that the Scarecrow Festival has been largely left alone by politics. It’s OK for people to simply enjoy life. The music will be different Saturday evening, but in my mind Louis Armstrong is playing ‘O What a Wonderful World.’”
Baker also wanted to thank the many sponsors Wednesday — including the main stage sponsors — Collins Septic, WCR, Fayette County Memorial Hospital, MD Automotive, Rent-2-Own and The Print Shop as well as the Washington Court House Service Department and Police Department for their continued support of the festival.
“We hope they come out and support the festival,” Baker said. “We have been working hard to make the downtown strong and revitalize our historic downtown. We will have tons of vendors, and businesses downtown will also be open for people to check out their products. Many of these businesses downtown have helped us — including the Linen Closet — with our pageant on Tuesday and with preparing for the festival. It would be hard to name them all. This is not a money maker, this event is through volunteers and it is a fun event to attend with the whole family. The outpouring of support has been great and we wish we were larger so we could have more vendors, but we appreciate the interest in our festival. It means a lot to get that local support.”
The information in this article was provided by Chelsie Baker, the Washington Court House Director of Economic Development. Stay with the Record-Herald for coverage of the 2019 Scarecrow Festival in upcoming editions of the paper.
Reach Martin Graham at (740) 313-0351 or on Twitter @MartiTheNewsGuy.