This summer’s Scarecrow Festival, a downtown Washington C.H. event brought to the community by local volunteers and sponsors, has been cancelled but is scheduled to return in 2021.
At this point in the year, the major entertainer was usually booked however, uncertainty concerning large gatherings of people stemming from COVID-19 complicated festival decisions, according to festival organizers. Booking a major act, and then not being able to proceed with the Scarecrow Festival, would endanger the future of the festival, organizers said.
“At this time of the year, you book the stage and the entertainers, seek sponsors and move ahead with Scarecrow Festival plans. If you spent festival and sponsor money and then could not have a festival, you would have a problem. I hate not having a festival in 2020, but to keep the festival on a positive track this is the right decision,” said Mekia Rhoades, Scarecrow coordinator.
No question exists about having a festival in 2021, according to organizers, and the dates for the 2021 festival are Sept. 17, 18 and 19. The Scarecrow Festival, the City of Washington Court House and the Travel and Tourism Bureau remain committed to the community and the Scarecrow Festival, according to Rhoades.
“The decision to cancel the 2020 Scarecrow Festival was not easy for anyone. The work of Mekia Rhoades, Kelley Ford, Anne Quinn, Stephanie Dunham, Chelsie Baker and many others is appreciated. The temporary absence of the Scarecrow Festival in 2020 is a practical and responsible response to the current situation. I am saddened by the decision, but I also know that the decision is the correct course of action motivated by the best interests of our community,” said Washington C.H. City Manager Joe Denen.
Organizers released this statement: “The Scarecrow Festival wants you to know that we have always worked for our community. The opportunity to again work for our community will return to us with the 2021 Scarecrow Festival. Our parting is temporary. The Scarecrow Festival wants you get ready for a special 2021 festival that together we will make memorable.”