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Scarecrow Days to beautify downtown

Dear citizens and business owners of Elkins and surrounding areas:

My name is Bobbi Trimboli and I have been a lifelong resident of Elkins. I have always valued this area and those who reside within our mountain valley. I believe that small communities and those who live within them survive by working together for the greater good.

Four years ago one of our creative talents, Doug Starcher, brought to us the idea of having a scarecrow display throughout downtown Elkins to welcome autumn, one of our most colorful and beautiful seasons. Scarecrows would be designed by business owners, civic, church and youth groups and any interested individuals throughout our area.

The idea was successful beyond our imagination and people, both visitors and locals, found pleasure in seeing the creations. Pictures were taken; laughter was heard; fun seemed to abound. Each year since, the event grew to over 100 participants that expanded to include a culminating evening of activities. It is safe to say that several hundred sightseers and entertainers joined in the celebration ignited by the placement of these “downtown friends of the season.”

Our community, our state, our country and world have faced difficult times with the appearance of COVAID-19. We have been separated from one another; businesses are facing challenges; we wear masks in public, out of respect for the health of those around us, which limit the share of a smile; workers risk their own health to serve us; youth have missed school, group and summer activities; family and civic events have been canceled. The Mountain State Forest Festival, a yearly homecoming celebration for many, will disappear this October. Life has changed for all of us.

It appears we could use a safe, healthy, uplifting event to help us shed our concerns, if only for a short while. As a result, I am fortunate to be part of a small group of volunteers that includes Penny Heflin, Vickie Keller and Susie Wagoner, all who have worked on this event in the past, and have decided to continue this scarecrow tradition for 2020, naming it Scarecrow Days.

In addition, family and friends are helping with different aspects of preparation. We are indebted to Elkins Builders Supply, DelMonte Market, Larry Chidester, Doug Copeman and Linger farms. Others have volunteered to come forward as needed. Modifications will be built in for the protection of everyone.

The hope is that people will step outside of their daily routine and display one of their scarecrows from past years and everyone is encouraged to bring forth their creative spirit and design a new character to decorate our streets. No large group festival can occur, but the scarecrows can be viewed by individuals, groups and families using social distancing and protective face covering in an open air environment.

Materials will be distributed from the DelMonte Market on Friday and Saturday, Sept. 11 and 12 from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Scarecrows will show up downtown on Oct. 10 and will remain until Oct. 24. During those two weeks people can drive by to see them or walk through town to take pictures and enjoy their presence.

I ask you, as a citizen of this community, to find that positive spark and participate in something that can bring smiles, giggles and moments of joy to everyone and, please, do so safely.

I close with hopeful anticipation for Scarecrow Days and the community’s enthusiasm to make this an exciting reality.

Bobbi Trimboli

Elkins

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