Full Rules and Information


The Alfred Box of Books Library Scarecrow Contest is open to all ages, individuals, families, clubs, groups, and businesses within ten miles of the Alfred-Almond School District. Each person, family, or group may only enter one time.


  1. Local business or organization: Businesses may choose any of the categories below with their own unique business or organization’s twist. Businesses or organizations may include a participant-provided corrugated staked lawn sign (not to exceed 18″ x 24″) advertisement with their name and logo.
  2. Traditional (Most likely to scare a crow): Typical farm and garden scarecrows made from cast off clothing, burlap, gunny sacks, jeans, overalls, straw hats, aprons, bonnets, corn shocks, raffia, straw, etc. Let your thrifty craftiness shine!
  3. Book/Film Character: Design a scarecrow depicting your favorite character, hero, or villain from a book, film, TV series, manga, comic, or graphic novel. Concentrate on characteristics that make your character recognizable and show off your amazing cosplay skills!
  4. Whimsical/ Fantastical Creation: Whether it’s fairytale, storybook, mythical or fantasy, let your imagination run wild. Use of bright colors or unique materials is encouraged. Note: Make sure materials that can be damaged by weather are fully sealed to protect them from the elements.

Cash Prizes:

First Place Award: $75 (each non-business/organization category)
Second Place Award: $50 (each non-business/organization category)
Third Place Award: $25 (each non-business/organization category)

Special awards:
One entry will be awarded the “Library’s Choice” as voted on by the library staff and board of trustees. The award for this prize will be a gift basket courtesy of local sponsors.

Entry Fee:

Each entrant will donate one package of new socks to the Alfred Box of Books Library for the benefit of Genesis House of Olean in collaboration with Socktober and The Great Give Back.

Entry Form Due Date: Friday, September 22, 2023

Entry forms should be dropped off in person at the library during regular business hours. The first entries received will be placed closest to the library entrances with later entries placed further out and behind the library. We strongly encourage participants to drop off entry forms so they might make their new sock donation at the same time.

Entry forms can also be mailed to:
Alfred Box of Books Library
1 West University Street
Alfred, NY 14802
Re: Community Scarecrow Contest


Scarecrows must be durable and able to stand up to sun, wind, and very likely rain or snow showers. Use care in choosing your materials. All scarecrow decorations must be firmly attached to your scarecrow. Scarecrow frames may be constructed using whatever the participant has access to, whether it’s PVC pipe, bamboo poles, chicken wire, broom sticks, etc. The Library will supply a six foot tall steel T-post already placed into the ground. Participants will need to bring rope or wire to attach your scarecrow to the post. Participants may bring additional props like straw bales, corn shocks, etc., however the scarecrow and props must fit into a four (4) foot by four (4) foot area. Fresh fruits and vegetables such as gourds or pumpkins must be whole- not punctured or carved-to ensure they last through the duration of the contest. Participants are welcome to visit their scarecrow and maintain its presentable condition. The library reserves the right to remove any entries that do not maintain their ability to be displayed. All entries must be handmade. Commercial costumes, rubber or plastic masks, etc., will not be allowed. Electricity will not be provided; however participants may use solar garden lights to illuminate their creations for nighttime visitors.

As part of your display, participants must include a sign with the name of your entry, and your name, group, or service club name. This will help your friends and family find your entry when voting. Your sign should be no larger than 11″x17″.

Political commentary is prohibited.

The scarecrow contest exhibit area is meant to be community-inclusive. Scarecrows should be whimsical, humorous, lovable, or mischievous, but not frightening. Especially scary monsters, violent or gruesome depictions and figures of a political nature will not be considered for display or community voting. Alfred Box of Books Library reserves the right to disqualify entries they feel to be distasteful or not community-inclusive.


The minimum size is four (4) feet tall. The maximum height is seven (7) feet tall. Scarecrows and props must fit in a 4 x 4 foot area.

Scarecrow placement

Scarecrow placement must occur between 12:00pm and 5:00pm Wednesday, Thursday, or Friday September 27 through September 29. Participants should meet with a library staff member to receive their assigned plot and to have their installation photographed. All entries must be in place by Sunday, September 30, 2023 at 4:00pm.


All entries will be on display to the public from Saturday September 29 through Saturday October 28, 2023.


Library patrons will be voting daily beginning Monday, October 1, 2023 to decide which scarecrow is their favorite. Patrons may pick up a ballot at the circulation desk. Each scarecrow will be labeled with their category, number and title. Patrons will write down the number of their favorite scarecrow and place it in the ballot box for the associated category. Each patron visiting the library may only vote once per day. Participants are encouraged to invite friends and family to visit our library to vote for your entry. Please note that library staff will ask voters to present their library card for a daily ballot. Any valid STLS library card will be honored.

Awards Presentation

Winners need not be present to win. Winners will be announced and prizes awarded at 2pm on Sunday, October 29. Winners who are not present will be contacted via email and telephone. Awards will be made payable to the registrant’s name and mailed First Class to the address on the entry form if they are unable to pick up their award at the library. Decorative ribbons will be placed on the winning entries photo and will remain on display at the library for one week to allow the public a chance to view the community’s hard work and the contest results.

Scarecrow Retrieval

Entries must be retrieved by Monday, October 30, 2023. Please leave only the T-post behind.