WANATAH | The cool weather Saturday morning didn’t stop people from enjoying food, crafts, games and scarecrows at the Scarecrow Festival in Wanatah.
“(The festival) is for the town, it brings people to Wanatah and LaPorte County,” event chairman Gene Shurte said. “We like to make the festival as interactive as we can. When you see all the people, it makes you feel good and (that) it’s worth all the effort.”
The festival kicked off Friday afternoon, and by Saturday morning it was in full swing with a day full of events, including a parade, Scarecrow Samper run for children ages 2 to 9, scarecrow sculpting and carnival rides.
“I think we have a lot of unique things,” Shurte said. “We have the Scarecrow Scamper, which you don’t find too often.”
Shurte expects around 10,000 to 12,000 people to come for the three-day festival by the time it wraps up today. He founded the festival 18 years ago, and said so far this year the festival has been “wonderful”.
Phil Cox came from Wheatfield to visit his daughter who was running a hot dog stand. “This is my first year coming to the festival, and it was a lot bigger than I thought,” he said.
Halie Miller and Maddie Clark were participants in the parade. Both played clarinet with the South Central High School band and afterward were enjoying elephant ears while watching people browse near the craft booths.
Clark, a freshman at the school, played in her first Scarecrow Fest parade. “It was really fun, we’d stop in front of people and then start playing,” she said.
“Now we’re just going to hang out, and see how many people we know,” Miller said.
Penny Wanmer, of Westville, came to the festival with her family and noted how the weather is colder this year than in years past. “But we come out every year,” she said. “We really like seeing all the crafts and food.”
The festival runs through 4 p.m. today. Events today include a Pancake Breakfast, more scarecrow sculpting and a car show.