Lakes Park Enrichment Foundation invites the Southwest Florida community to participate in its seventh annual “Scarecrows in the Park” contest during the Fall and Halloween Festival, taking place Oct. 21-30 at Lakes Regional Park. Local businesses, organizations, elementary and middle schools and community members can join the contest fun by fashioning custom-made scarecrows to be displayed at Lakes Park during the festival. The deadline for contest registration and scarecrow naming is Sept. 30. Proceeds will benefit the Lakes Park Enrichment Foundation to support the Children’s Discovery Garden at Lakes Regional Park.
The “Scarecrows in the Park” contest festivities will begin on opening night, Oct. 21, with a kick-off party for the participants. A team of celebrity judges will select the winning scarecrow displays, and awards will be posted on winning displays throughout the event. From Oct. 21 through Oct. 26, the public will also view and vote for their favorite displays, and the People’s Choice winners will be acknowledged and awarded prizes during the following days of the festival.
“The ‘Scarecrows in the Park’ contest provides a fun and creative way for our community to celebrate the fall season, and we look forward to seeing the many inventive displays that our fellow community members design,” said Bettie Zima, chairperson for the Lakes Park Enrichment Foundation. “Furthermore, the contest provides a great opportunity for local community members to raise awareness of their businesses or organizations by showcasing their brands with a personalized display.”
In addition to the “Scarecrows in the Park” contest, the Fall and Halloween Festival will feature a pumpkin patch, bounce houses, hayrides, the Halloween Express train, face painting and concessions. There will also be special appearances of “Way Too Tall Torrie,” a very tall scarecrow with a knack for balloon artistry. More than 118,000 people attended the 2015 Fall and Halloween Festival, and Lakes Park Enrichment Foundation anticipates a larger turnout for this year’s event.
Entry for the contest is a $250 donation, with all proceeds benefiting the Lakes Park Enrichment Foundation. Nonprofit organizations can register for $150. A donation of $300 can also be made to sponsor a youth group, which will include entry for the group and $50 for supplies. Scarecrow registration forms are available at www.LakesParkEnrichmentFoundation.org. School or youth groups interested in participating are asked to contact Bettie Zima at Scarecrows@LakesPark.org.
The Lakes Park Enrichment Foundation is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization dedicated to assisting the Lee County Parks & Recreation Department in the restoration of Lakes Regional Park to a native wild habitat and adding improvements that increase the community’s enjoyment of the park. The Lakes Park Enrichment Foundation was established in 2004 by a group of Lee County business leaders and dedicated citizens who recognize Lakes Park as an extremely important green area in Lee County. The foundation’s main focus is to assist Lee County Parks and Recreation in the continued implementation of the Lakes Regional Park’s Master Plan enhancing the park’s environmental aesthetics, wildlife habitat and recreational amenities for the community to enjoy for many years to come. Currently, the Lakes Park Enrichment Foundation is focusing its fundraising to create a “Children’s Discovery Garden” at Lakes Park. For more information about the foundation, visit www.LakesPark.org.