Scarecrow Days begin in Old Town

       This week the Old Colorado City historic district was beginning to sport eye-catching works in straw as the first signs of the merchants' 10th annual Scarecrow Days. The event is a promotion that includes public activities and a fund-raiser for Old Colorado City's public library and volunteer-owned History Center.
       On Saturday, Sept. 16, “celebrity” judges will be deciding winners among the scarecrows that will be outside stores. Citizens can also vote (in participating stores) for their favorite straw creations from Sept. 16 to 25. The theme this year is celebrities. “It will be interesting to see what people come up with,” said Nancy Stovall, executive director of the Old Colorado City Associates (OCCA) merchants group.
       Two activities are slated for Saturday, Sept. 23. These will be:
       The Art on the Avenue competition from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., with the winner being announced at 5:30. In the second year for this activity, local artists will be drawing with colored chalk on the pavement of the Old Town Plaza parking lot at 25th Street and Colorado Avenue. Winners will be determined by votes from the public.
       The Taste of Old Colorado City, from noon to 5 p.m. For $15 each ($5 for ages 12 and under), people can sample the fare at 17 participating Old Colorado City restaurants. As was the case last year, proceeds will be split evenly between the library (to help with its building preservation project) and the History Center. Tickets can be purchased in advance from restaurants or stores that have a “Buy Taste Ticket Here” sign in their windows.
       Additionally on the 23rd, other artists will be painting on easels between 24th and 27th streets, and there will be a magician, face-painter, roaming balloon-twister and History Center members wearing period costumes and giving historic tours, Stovall said.
       Scarecrow Days will conclude Saturday, Oct. 7 with the second annual Giant Pumpkin Weigh-off in the Old Town Plaza. It had been scheduled the previous Saturday (the 30th), but the date was pushed back to Oct. 7 at the request of growers who thought another week might help their pumpkins get bigger, Stovall said. The OCCA was certified last year as a multi-state weighing location under the auspices of the national “Giant Pumpkin” activity. Last year's Scarecrow Days winner weighed 701 pounds.
       Old Colorado City is an independent retail area within a block of Colorado Avenue from 24th to 27th or 28th streets.

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