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  Most Scarecrows in one location-world record set by the Hoschton Scarecrow Stampede
 HOSCHTON, GA, USA -- Organizers of the Hoschton Scarecrow Stampede had documented proof of 5,441 scarecrows -setting the new world record for the Most Scarecrows in one location.
   Photo: The Hoschen "scarecrow-a-thon" was the brainchild of local businesswoman Robbie Bettis, who said the record is an attempt at boosting the town's profile.
  (enlarge photo)
"They're in every subdivision, every nook and cranny," Bettis said of the scarecrows. "I mean, they are everywhere."

...They are. Scarecrows line Ga. 53, the main drag. They peep from porches and grin from garages. They’re clad as children, old people, businessmen, church-goers, football players, vamps, preachers, convicts, mechanics, carpenters, superheroes and more. All, said Bettis, are a labor of civic pride, made by children, old people, businessmen, church-goers and more. -wrote "The Atlanta Journal-Constitution"

Mayor Bill Copenhaver set the town's goal at 4,000 to ensure it would beat the Cincinnati Horticultural Society's record for the most scarecrows in one location. The group's 2003 Flower and Farm Fest had 3,311 of them in 2003.

Hoschton residents called on Georgia Insurance and Safety Fire Commissioner John Oxedine and Jackson County Chamber of Commerce director Shane Short to verify the numbers Tuesday afternoon.

Business owner Robbie Bettis hold daily scarecrow making workshops to teach the town's 1,700 residents how to make scarecrows.

  As part of world records' requirements, scarecrows must have a stand, be stuffed and "scare crows."
 Part of the process required in competing for the title was to photograph each scarecrow individually before placing it in the ground and numbering each one.

 In addition to Hoschton residents, people from different towns helped, including Hiawassee, Loganville, Monroe, Atlanta. There even was some out-of-state help from residents of Tennessee.   

  Some of the scarecrows are pretty elaborate.But, with so many styles and sizes, what exactly constitutes a scarecrow?
   “Who knows? Whatever you want it to be [...] it can be a simple shirt on a pole in the middle of a field or it can be something more elaborate,” Mayor Copenhaver tells Newschannel 32.  

 Mayor Copenhaver says people, not just the Hoschton residents, have enjoyed making the scarecrows. “We’ve had people from out of state bringing in scarecrows wanting to put them up in town,” says Mayor Copenhaver.

 Hoschton (properly pronounced like PUSH-ton, but with an H, according to the Jackson County Area Chamber of Commerce) hosts the annual Hoschton Fall Festival during the weekend of Sept. 26-27, and visitors can catch a free event Sept. 27-28 at Château Élan’s Equestrian Center.

  Hoschton is located about an hour north of Atlanta on Hwy 53 East.

 Their reasons to set the world record for the Most Scarecrows in one location ? According to their official website, the reasons are:
  * to gain a huge amount of positive publicity & wonderful decorations for the Hoschton Fall Festival.
  * to build excitement among citizens with a community-wide project and to build pride in Hoschton.
* to have an indirect economic impact on local businesses.
  * to help the schools teach using scarecrows as examples.
  * to put Hoschton “on the map.”
  * to guard the festival from the crows who might gather and cause trouble for the event, and to raise awareness of the farming history of our area.
  Sponsor of the event:
  Noodlehead Studios: Your one stop creative firm for graphic design, web design, video production, and new media marketing.

The previous world record for the Most Scarecrows in one location was set in 2003 in Ohio with 3,311 scarecrows.

Although the cut-off date was September first, some people say they plan to keep their scarecrows up through Halloween. And, the mayor does not plan to do this again next year.

 "We thought if we gave people something fun to do, then maybe they will forget about the difficult economy," said antique dealer Robbie Bettis, who is leading the effort along with her husband Fred.
More photos:  2008 Scarecrow Stampede Web Album  

   Saturday, September 20, 2008

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