Van Alstyne has experienced a recent growth explosion of residents of the scarecrow variety.
Scarecrows have popped up on porches, downtown, hay fields, street corners, in front of businesses and soon will be featured on WFAA’s Good Morning Texas broadcast from Dallas.
"We are receiving messages throughout each day about a new sighting. It’s been a fun experience to see how creative our community is. Thank goodness we have a team of volunteer photographers who are helping capture the images," said Donna Spies, volunteer and co-director of The Great Big Van Alstyne Fall der All, produced by the Van Alstyne Chamber of Commerce.
The photographs are posted on Facebook at Scarecrows All Around Van Alstyne. It is the desire of the volunteers to feature each scarecrow that the community creates. Last year, the group recorded more than 100 scarecrow guests in Van Alstyne and the volunteers hope to see the community break that record this year. Every resident or business that creates a scarecrow is requested to submit a photo to Facebook, via email or contact the volunteers for assistance.
The scarecrow community is unique, and producers from Good Morning Texas agree. On Wednesday, Oct. 16, the 9 a.m. television program will feature a segment about the history and the scarecrows themselves and plan to feature and promote the Scarecrows on Parade of The Great Big Van Alstyne Fall der All.
"We are encouraging the community to quickly submit photos of their scarecrows for the GMT feature. Every home, every business, every club or organization is eligible to be featured. Time is of the essence, we need them this week," said Spies.
Spies noted how many of the businesses have created the scarecrow personalities to reflect the interest and hobbies of their "families" and how local businesses have built the scarecrows to showcase the services they provide.
"The Durning House B&B has created a guest in Ralph Lauren jammies about to climb into a straw bed, several Van Alstyne Panther fans have football players and cheerleader ‘crows, several traditional ‘crows, Alford Inn and Quilt Shoppe has a little lady ‘crow all loaded up with new fabrics, a Steeplechase home features Woody and Jessie from Toy Story, Van Alstyne Family Practice has both a Dr. and patient crow, Rock’s House of Restoration boasts several ‘crow vignettes, Batter Up Bakery in downtown has a gigantic scarecrow, the Vikings of Grayson College South Campus are promoting college graduates, and there are so many more," said Spies. "We have received messages on the Facebook pages expressing what a delight it is to drive through Van Alstyne and see all the personalities, many of those comments are shared are non-residents."
The scarecrows will be the "stars" of Scarecrows on Parade during The Great Big Van Alstyne Fall der All on Oct. 19 in downtown Van Alstyne.
"We are pleading to the community, service groups and regional businesses to jump on board with the parade. According to the parade application, entries are to be "scarecrowfied"; last year it was fun to see how that description was conveyed through the entries. Categories include Best Float, Best Animal Group, Best Auto/Vehicle, Best Scarecrow (over 15), Cutest Scarecrow Ever (under age 15), Best Large Group (over 15 participants) and Best Small Group (under 15 participants).
This is a wonderful way to join in the fun, showcase your business, organization or family," said Spies.
"Think of the fun of creating memories while creating costumes and/or a float. We have big loud vehicles participating, cheer teams, cool vehicles, sports teams, we are hoping for a huge scarecrow parade. Last year we had two [television] news outlets and the parade is what they were here for."
Those who submit parade applications no later than Oct. 8 may be considered for the GMT feature.
Parade applications are available at the Chamber office, 228 E. Marshall, downtown Van Alstyne, or online at www.vanalstynechamber.org. More information about the Scarecrows on Parade, The Great Big Van Alstyne Fall der All or Good Morning Texas feature is available at 903-482-6066.