Scarecrow contest part of Ashford’s 300th anniversary celebration
By Annie Gentile - ReminderNews
Ashford - posted Wed., Oct. 16, 2013
Residents visiting the Babcock Library or the town offices next door will find a few whimsical additions to the front yard at Knowlton Memorial Hall. As part of a year-long preparation for the town’s 300th anniversary in 2014, the 300th Anniversary Celebration Committee has made a scarecrow contest part of its many plans and activities. On Saturday, Oct. 12, committee members, families and friends helped set up the scarecrows, while also offering refreshments and commemorative fundraising items for sale.
Committee treasurer Valerie Peppin said the committee will have a ballot box and cash prizes for first-, second-, and third-place winners of the contest. Voting for the contest goes through Saturday, Oct. 19, at which time residents are invited back to the green at Knowlton Memorial Hall to share a town birthday cake and listen to music courtesy of the Babcock Band, believed to be the oldest and continuously-performing band in the United States. The festivities will run from 9 a.m. to noon.
Besides the music and cake, Peppin said they will also have commemorative shirts, sweatshirts, hats and mugs for sale and all of the proceeds will go to pay for the 300th anniversary parade and celebration to be held next year on Oct. 11.
Other fundraising activities have included a coin contest, in which students from the Ashford School were encouraged to design a coin with a historical theme related to Ashford. “We had about 35 or 40 entries and we chose three winners,” said Peppin.
Linda Falletti, who serves as co-chair of the 300th Anniversary Celebration Committee along with her husband Bill, said the coin contest was broken up into three categories of entries, the first for students in kindergarten through second grade, the second for students in third through fifth grade, and the third for students in sixth through eighth grade. “The town voted on a coin for each category, and they will be minted and sold,” Linda Falletti said. “We’re trying to work out a time to bring all the contestants together to award them.”
Linda Falletti said the committee is also working with a company that is creating a series of 13 miniaturized historical houses or buildings that are specific to Ashford, one to be sold each month. They include a miniaturized St. Phillip’s Church, Knowlton Memorial Hall, and The Academy, one of the town’s first school houses that will be converted into a museum.
“We did [the scarecrow contest] basically to try to get families out to have some fun and do something related to the fall,” said Peppin. “We want everyone to have some fun with it.”