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Nothing scary about Scarecrow Fest

Hands clutching a sizable amount of straw, 6-year-old Sam Cerekas got to work on what he referred to as "surgery on Humpty Dumpty."

Translated, the youngster meant he was stuffing and dressing a scarecrow.

Sam and his mother, Kim, joined a crowd of other farm-field designers at the Historic Hanley Farm Saturday for the second annual Scarecrow Fest, put on by the Southern Oregon Historical Society. Proceeds from the event go to support SOHS.

"People had such a great time," said Alice Mullaly, volunteer event coordinator. "It's a great way to enjoy the farm in the fall."

Mullaly said some SOHS volunteers got the idea for the festival after attending similar events on the East Coast, including Lindenhurst, N.Y., "which is Sleepy Hollow country," Mullaly said.

"This is one time where the clothes don't have to necessarily match," said Angi Lango, as her 8-year-old daughter, Bryn, worked on a creation dressed in pink. "You can just let it go."

Nearby, 6-year-old Daphne Peterson ran back and forth between her scarecrow and nearby tables, where boxes of donated clothes from St. Vincent de Paul waited to be used. Daphne finally decided on a black-and-white striped shirt and proclaimed her scarecrow would be a soccer coach.

"Mine's going to be called Bob," she said.

Scott Croucher and his 3-year-old son, Nathan, opted for a more traditional look. They chose a flannel shirt, jeans and polyester hat.

"He's into it," Croucher said while Nathan concentrated on stuffing hay into the open sleeves.

When they were finished, the scarecrows were displayed on the farm's Scarecrow Row.

The creations can be seen tonight during the season's final Haunted Field Tours, which will be held from 7 to 9 at Hanley Farm. Tickets cost $5 for adults and $3 for children and Southern Oregon Historical Society members.

Other Scarecrow Fest activities included pumpkin painting, apple bobbing and a chance to tour the historic farm's grounds.

"It's just so much fun to see families working together," Mullaly said.

Reach reporter Ryan Pfeil at 541-776-4468 or rpfeil@mailtribune.com.

Nathan Croucher, 3, stuffs his scarecrow with straw Saturday during the second annual Scarecrow Festival at Hanley Farm in Central Point. - Julia Moore