Gowanda Scarecrow Contest winners announced

Winners of the 2020 Gowanda Scarecrow Contest were announced Sept. 29. Voted favorite scarecrows were (top) Spirit of Fall by Gowanda Homeschoolers, (bottom left) Wild Thing by Gowanda Free Library and (bottom right) The Good Shepherd by Love, INC. Receiving the awards are Mindy Purdy, Lucy (holding medal) and Rita for Spirit of Fall, Hayley Wilkins for Wild Thing and Kathy Camp for The Good Shepherd. Presenting checks to the winners on behalf of the Gowanda Area Chamber of Commerce is Irene Jimerson.

GOWANDA — In what has been a very distracted year, the Gowanda Scarecrow Contest went on in a somewhat muted form in 2020.

Although this year would see slightly less than half as many entries as the previous year, many observers commented that the scarecrows were particularly impressive for 2020.

In the end, Spirit of Fall, created by Gowanda Homeschoolers, had accumulated 74 votes including 70 cast online to take First Place. The Gowanda Free Library entry, Wild Thing, captured Second Place with 57 votes. The Good Shepherd by Gowanda’s Love, INC received 26 votes for third place, edging out Gabel Brothers with Restless Randy with 23.

Once again, the online voting overshadowed those cast on paper ballots, which amounted to only 11 votes.

While the Gowanda Area Chamber of Commerce did not hold any events of their own for Fallfest Weekend 2020, they did contribute to the Scarecrow Contest. In addition to the Gold, Silver & Bronze medals given out by the contest to the winners, the Chamber awarded each a $25 check as an added bonus prize.

Notably absent from the entries were Little Einsteins Preschool and Auto Wrench Connection, two perennial favorites. In both of the previous two years, Little Einsteins had finished in the top three.

With many local organizations who would normally host activities during FallFest Weekend in Gowanda backing away from doing so in this COVID complicated year, the Gowanda Free Library was a focus of activity.

The annual mum sale and bake sale was scheduled to take place on both Friday and Saturday, Sept. 25 and 26. An overwhelming response saw them sold out by 1 p.m. that Friday. The library was unable to locate any additional plants to sell and substituted a used book sale on FallFest Saturday. The library also offered lawn games for children.