Scarecrow Festival General Rules / Information

Shangri La Botanical Gardens and Nature Center 8th Annual Scarecrow Festival and Autumn Fair



Each year, talented people from throughout the community and surrounding region create amazing scarecrows made from recycled materials for the Shangri La Gardens Scarecrow Festival. Whether submitted individually, by family, or by groups representing businesses, schools, organizations, or churches, the annual scarecrows are innovative, inspiring, and kind to their world.


As part of the 8th Annual Scarecrow Festival and Autumn Fair, scarecrows will be displayed throughout Shangri La’s gardens from October 11 through November 5, 2016. All scarecrows will be entered as part of a contest that will be judged in categories based on popular votes by visitors to Shangri La.


Important Dates and Information:

To participate in the 2016 Scarecrow Festival, please submit a 2016 Scarecrow Festival Entry Form no later than 5:00 p.m., Wednesday, October 5, 2016, to ensure official acknowledgment and approval of your entry. Entries may be submitted via hand delivery, U.S. mail, fax, or electronic submission on the Shangri La website (, as long as all paperwork is fully completed, initialed, signed and dated.


ALL scarecrow entries must be installed Saturday, October 8, 2016 (9 am – 5 pm), Monday, October 10, 2016 (9 am – 5 pm) and/or Tuesday, October 11 (9 am – Noon). THERE WILL BE NO SCARECROW ENTRY SET UP ON SUNDAY, OCTOBER 9, 2016. **Please note that scarecrow sites are assigned by LOTTERY. When participants arrive at Shangri La to install scarecrows, they should proceed to the registration desk to sign in and receive a randomly-assigned site number.


All entries must be removed by participants following the conclusion of Shangri La’s Autumn Fair on Saturday, November 5, 2016 (4 – 6 pm), or on Monday/Tuesday, November 7-8, 2016 (9 am – 5 pm). Any entries that remain as of Wednesday, November 9, 2016, will be removed and disposed by Shangri La staff.


General Rules for Entry in the Scarecrow Festival:
  1. Individuals (18+ years of age) or groups may enter a scarecrow in the Scarecrow Festival. Examples of group participants may include youth groups, adult groups, civic organizations, community groups, school groups, school classes, church groups, businesses, or families.


  1. The contest is limited to one entry per person or group. There is no entry fee. The submission of a completed 2016 Scarecrow Festival Entry Form is required. Incomplete or illegible forms will not be accepted.


  1. Scarecrows should be created using recycled materials wherever possible. Rubber, plastic or store-bought masks are not allowed. Hazardous items are prohibited, including tiki torches, candles, gas-powered generators or other flammable objects.


  1. Each entry must be designed for outdoor display and constructed to withstand all weather conditions. Scarecrows must be firmly packed. If fresh produce is used, participants should replace it as necessary.


  1. A scarecrow must be designed to either stand or sit on its own props, which must be provided by participants. Props will not be provided by Shangri La.


  1. Entries must be no taller than 7’ 6” and must fit into a space no larger than 25 square feet (5’ x 5’). Participants must place and fit their scarecrow as well as all related props/materials in the assigned site. This requirement will be strictly enforced to ensure safe access and protection of plants in the gardens.


  1. When designing a scarecrow, please remember that the Scarecrow Festival and Autumn Fair are events for children of all ages. Scarecrows may be funny, scary, or quirky, but they must also be in good taste. Excessively violent themes, offensive, crude or derogatory components are not permitted. Scarecrows that reflect controversial, political or religious themes are not permitted. Shangri La, at its sole discretion, reserves the right to reject or remove any entry that fails to meet these standards.


  1. All entries should be labeled with a sign no larger than 11” x 17” and should also reflect the name of the entrant, if different. Scarecrow names are subject to the prior review and/or approval of Shangri La staff and may not contain any political or religious statements or connotations, nor any offensive, crude, discriminatory, or derogatory terms or expressions. Businesses and organizations may incorporate the use of a company name; however, no handouts, promotional materials, advertisements or giveaways may be associated with any entry.


  1. Participants must display, inspect and maintain their scarecrow throughout the entire length of the Scarecrow Festival and Autumn Fair, a period of about one month. Up to two representatives of an entry may enter Shangri La without charge during posted operating hours to inspect and/or repair that participant’s scarecrow entry, in order to ensure that it remains in good condition. While participants are encouraged to monitor and maintain their entry on a regular basis, substantial changes to the entry after installation are not permitted.


  1. Shangri La may, at its sole discretion, make minor repairs, replacements and/or adjustments to a scarecrow if the scope of activity does not alter the scarecrow. Even so, participants remain responsible for ensuring that their scarecrow remains intact, presentable, and properly installed. Any entry deemed by Shangri La to be in poor condition or improperly maintained may be removed, as determined at the discretion of Shangri La staff.


  1. Shangri La is not responsible for any damage to or loss associated with scarecrows or any decorative items or ancillary components that may be installed at a scarecrow site.


  1. All scarecrows in the contest will be judged by category based on popular votes made by visitors to Shangri La during the Scarecrow Festival and Autumn Fair. Categories include Business I (50 employees or fewer), Business II (50+ employees), School, Organization (Civic/Community Group), Individual, Family, and Church. Each entry will be judged against other entries in the same category and placed according to the total number of votes received.


  1. The voting period for the Shangri La Scarecrow Festival will be from 9 am on October 11, 2016 through Noon on November 5, 2016. All visitors are eligible to vote. All judging is final. Awards will be announced for 1st, 2nd and 3rd place in each category based on the number of votes cast by visitors during the voting period.


  1. Additional awards may be given for scarecrows that best reflect the mission of Shangri La and/or merit recognition for design/materials excellence, as determined solely at the discretion of Shangri La. Awards will be announced as part of the Autumn Fair on Saturday, November 5, 2016 at 2 pm at Shangri La. While participants are not required to be present to win, Shangri La encourages all entrants to be present for the awards ceremony.


  1. Names of winners and participants as well as images from the contest may be posted on Shangri La’s website or used in publicity or promotional materials for the Scarecrow Festival and Autumn Fair. By participating, entrants release and waive any rights to or interest in any images, recordings (video, audio, or both), or likenesses that may be obtained in connection with the Scarecrow Festival and grant Shangri La and Stark Cultural Venues the right to use any images, recordings, or likenesses related to or including participant’s scarecrow entry at Shangri La that may be made, without compensation to the participant, whether one or more.