A side perk to a fun event the Brigantine Beach Cultural Arts Commission started last year to help savor the autumn season is that the city is not likely to be overrun by crows any time soon.
The second annual BBCAC scarecrow exhibit started earlier this week and runs through Oct. 30. Local businesses, social clubs and civic organizations are encouraged to decorate their establishments with scarecrows, and the public is welcome to vote on their favorite and most creative exhibits.
Ballots can be found at the Brigantine Community Center, 265 42nd St., and at the Brigantine Library, 15th Street South and Revere Boulevard. Ballot forms can also be clipped from the bottom of the BBCAC ad in this publication. All completed ballots can be placed in boxes near the main entrances of the community center or library.
“We distributed entry forms to practically every store, business merchant, civic organization and even the city departments explaining what we're doing, and the public can vote on their favorites up to Oct. 30,” said BBCAC Chairperson Mary DeMarco. “There's no real prizes awarded other than bragging rights, and once we've gathered all the ballots and counted them, we'll announce the winners and honorable mentions at the council meeting on Nov. 1.”
The scarecrows are a fun way to call attention to a business and/or encourage people to visit the island, DeMarco said.
“It also stimulates community activity and — as is the Cultural Arts Commission's main mission — encourages creativity,” she said. “Last year several participants came up with themes, including one really clever 'Phantom of the Opera' theme that had a scarecrow wearing a phantom's mask. The theme side of it was something that sort of grew out of participants' perspectives and creativity, with no particular encouragement from us.”
This year, DeMarco said she heard talk of a business putting a Scary Poppins twist on the Walt Disney musical “Mary Poppins.” Voting for the most popular exhibits started Oct. 10. Businesses can join in the contest any time up to Oct. 30.
“At this point I'm not sure how many have actually started participating, but somebody told me they've already seen scarecrows popping up all over the place,” DeMarco said. “And I'm still getting people calling me asking if it's too late to enter. The answer is no — you can enter any time you want.”
The contest is intended for businesses and civic organizations, not residences. Several civic groups have been allocated space in front of the community center, including the Brigantine Garden Club, which was a close runner-up to the Pirate's Den restaurant at 12th Street North and Brigantine Avenue in the inaugural scarecrow contest last year.