“Uncle Joe” scares up contest win

Published 9:14 am Friday, October 24, 2014

Photo by Brandon Hicks For more photos visit www.elizabethton.com

Downtown Elizabethton was filled with the Halloween spirit with dozens of scarecrows and other autumn decorations lining the sidewalks of the shopping district.
The Downtown Business Association’s first Scarecrow contest sought entries from businesses, organizations and families from across the county to make their own scarecrows or fall-themed scenes.
The scarecrows were placed on columns lining East Elk Avenue to decorate downtown. On Wednesday night, the 22 entries were judged and the winners were selected.
There was no cost to enter the contest, and participants had the freedom to decorate their scarecrows in almost any way they wanted. The only requirements were decorations had to be family-friendly, be durable to the elements and not extend closer than one foot from the edge of the sidewalk.
Sonya Alexander, her 2-year-old granddaughter, Caroline Barrett, and Debbie Alexander won first place for their scarecrow, “Uncle Joe.” The scarecrow was made to resemble Joe Alexander, Sonya’s brother-in-law and Caroline’s great-uncle.
The scarecrow was placed on a pile of hay bales and was wearing Joe Alexander’s signature suspenders and bow tie. The scarecrow was accompanied by a squirrel and a crow with fodder and mums for adornment.
“This was meant to be an activity to get Caroline involved in fall,” Sonya said. “We made a practice one at home. I had it laid out on a bed to work on it and Caroline came in and called it Uncle Joe. From then on that was what it had to be.”
The Alexanders will donate the $50 prize for the first-place winner to the downtown holiday lighting fund.
Second place was awarded to Mike and Jan Malone for “The ‘Boo’ Crew.” The Boo Crew featured two smaller scarecrows that appeared to be children ready to go trick-or-treating. The Malones could not be contacted for comment.
Third place went to Chelsie McNeal at the Crow’s Nest for “Country Cruise In Scarecrow.” This scarecrow also had a family theme, featuring scarecrow versions of McNeal, her husband and their 3-month-old twin daughters. The scarecrows are arranged on a hay bale car complete with bumpers and wheels.
“This is just my family,” McNeal said. “We did the car because of the Cruise In that happens in downtown.”
Honorable mention was given to “Family Roots” by Jennie Kodak with Johnny and Junes Boutique; “Love at First Sight” by Carter County Bank; “Fluzzie the Scarecrow” by Medical Care, LLC; “Wall Street” by Patti Whitson with Edward Jones Investments Kris Yarlett’s office; “The Pumpkin King” by Sandy White with Ritchie’s Furniture and “American Gothic Scarecrows” by Betsy Town Mercantile.
DBA President Cathy Shoun was pleased with the response the scarecrow contest received for the fist year.
“It was wonderful for it being the first time,” Shoun said. “I was so excited for the entries from the organizations, business and families. They put a great deal of effort into their scarecrows. I think everyone did excellent. They were all creative and none were like the others. Everyone used their imaginations. I look forward to next year.”

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