Festival Countdown


Here’s how to rock the contest

Important Information

Scarecrows reflecting controversial, social, religious or political opinions or statements will not be accepted.* The Greater St. Charles CVB reserves the right to remove any scarecrow it deems offensive, inappropriate or in direct competition with a Greater St. Charles organization.

Scarecrow Contest Category Descriptions

  1. Mechanical:Only category that is provided with electricity and only category allowed moving parts. Electricity must be the ONLY means of mechanization. Entrants supply their own 50 ft. outdoor extension cord.
  2. Mega: Make an impact with a large 8×8 display. Neither power nor moving parts.
  3. Clubs, Not-for-profits, and Schools: Whether your organization is for adults or young people, school, fraternal group, sports team or any other not-for-profit cause, this category lets designers use any materials to create a scarecrow display of any theme.
  4. Individuals: Open to entries created by one or more individuals not affiliated with a business or organization
  5. Family: Open to individual families with children 12 years of age & younger. Made of any material and with minimal assistance from age 13+ family members.
  6. Greater St. Charles Business: Open to for-profit businesses in the Greater St. Charles CVB service area: the City of St. Charles, Villages of Campton Hills & Elburn, and Townships of St. Charles & Campton Hills. Display may reflect & promote business, may be traditionally or whimsically themed, and constructed of any materials.
  7. Area Business: Open to for-profit business in outside the Greater St. Charles CVB Service area as defined in Category 6.

Contest Rules                                                      

Each category has a limited number of entries, so that the Scarecrow Creations can be laid out with the respect each one deserves – with attention given to the visual appeal of the display AND public safety.  If your category of choice is filled upon receipt of your application – you will be contacted IMMEDIATELY and provided the opportunity to change categories – so long as space allows.  Each application will be reviewed for appropriateness of message and you will be contacted if any question regarding your selected theme arises.

      *Entries will be reviewed for appropriateness following set-up and SHOULD a display be found to be offensive, controversial, political, etc., creators will be asked to either change its message or remove the display.  The GSCCVB reserves the right to remove any such displays not in keeping with these rules.

New Entries are encouraged to have a scarecrow of any shape or size in the contest entry. A sticker or a button would count.


  • All entries (except Mechanical and Mega) will receive a 4’ wide x 6’ deep space. NO EXCEPTIONS!
  • Mechanical and Mega Categories – maximum space is 8’x8’.
  • NO hand-outs at your contest display! Flyers are only given out by sponsor or vendor only.
  • All entries are to be displayed Friday thru Sunday. Any Scarecrow NOT removed by 8 pm Sunday will be discarded.
  • Security is provided from 9pm-7am Thursday thru Sunday morning. No security Sunday night.
  • One entry per category per person, family, business or organization. Entries in multiple categories are permitted.
  • All Entries may include multiple scarecrows (or whimsical characters), as well as props & decor to reflect the theme of your display.


  • NEW – With this being the State’s Bicentennial, entries are encourage but not required to have a theme that celebrates this anniversary.
  • Scarecrow(s) for display may reflect a special theme and/or promote a not-for-profit organization, event or business.
  • Scarecrows must be in good taste & constructed to withstand the weather.
  • Signage may be displayed to identify or promote your business, event or organization.  Please use weatherproof signs!


  • Scarecrow entries/designs must be NEW each year.
  • The Greater St. Charles CVB reserves the right to change the category if the scarecrow does not meet the criteria of submitted category.
  • No items such as tiki torches or gas-powered generators allowed.
  • All categories may display lights (powered by batteries only, unless in Mechanical category).
  • Mechanical Category entries are the ONLY entries that receive electricity.

IMPORTANT! Businesses and Not-for-Profits

  • Entries allowed in the Greater St. Charles Business category are for all entities within the Greater St. Charles CVB service area (City of St. Charles, Villages of Campton Hills & Elburn, Campton and St. Charles Townships.
  • All other for profit businesses may enter the contest under the Area Business category.
  • Entries accepted from any family and not-for-profit organization located within or outside the Greater St. Charles CVB service area.

Check-in and Set-up

  • Check-in tent location(s) will be announced in September 29. All entries will be assigned a location, based on design layout created by Ravenswood Event Services
  • Set-up is Thursday, Oct. 4th from 1-8pm ONLY. Set-up details will be emailed September 29th.
  • A sign is provided for voting purposes (e.g.: Family Category F-10) at your assigned display location.

Tear Down

  • Tear down is Sunday, Oct. 7th from 5pm-8pm! Any remaining scarecrows as of 8pm Sunday night will be discarded.
  • We suggest you claim your entry on Sunday at 5pm. Scarecrows have been reported missing when not claimed on time!