Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

September 15, 2012

Signs of fall — Scarecrows crop up in Princeton


Bluefield Daily Telegraph

— It’s a sure sign that fall is near. Scarecrows are popping up across the city of Princeton. And that can only mean the city’s popular AutumnFest is fast approaching.

As in past years, area residents are once again being encouraged to vote for their favorite scarecrow. So far a dozen businesses across the city are displaying scarecrows.

Natasha Culver, organizer of the Princeton AutumnFest Scarecrow Contest, said businesses from the Glenwood Park Retirement Village to the West Virginia Tourist Information Center have displayed scarecrows as part of the contest. Residents can vote for their favorite scarecrow by visiting the Princeton-Mercer County Chamber of Commerce’s website.

“The scarecrows are up and ready for people to vote on,” Culver said last week. “We have 12 scarecrows throughout the city of Princeton, which is down a little bit from last year. This is a very popular part of our AutumnFest activities, and we have them in a wide range of areas.”

Two winners will be selected for the scarecrow contest this year with a popular vote done through penny votes and a judge’s vote done for a trophy. All funding collected from the contest will be donated to a charity selected by the winning business.

“I think Princeton is such a tight-knit community, so anytime people get a chance to raise money for a charity they are always on board,” Culver adds. “It is fun to get people involved, get the public involved and get their votes. Each business picks their own charity and whoever wins the competition takes all the money and gives it to the charity of their choice. Each business has a different charity. The Chuck Mathena Center’s will go to the Chuck Mathena Center Foundation, Shoney’s chose Bible in the Schools program and City National Bank is supporting Emma’s Touch.”

The scarecrows are located at City National Bank, Shoney’s, Princeton Health and Fitness Center, Princeton Community Hospital, the Havens, Brainy Boston Book Store, Hardee’s on Route 460, Wes Hinkle State Farm Agency, Glenwood Park Retirement Village, the Chuck Mathena Center, Cafe Soleil, and the West Virginia Tourist Information Center.

The actual AutumnFest celebration will be held in downtown Princeton on Mercer Street on Saturday, Sept. 29. The day’s activities will include everything from a pumpkin cook-off to a 5K run.

Ready or not, fall is just around the corner. It’s getting darker earlier, and the nights are getting cooler.

Area residents looking for a little fall fun are encouraged to check out the different scarecrows on display across the city. And while you are there, please stop and support the local merchants both in the downtown and  across the city’s municipal limits. And don’t forget to mark Sept. 29 on your calendar for a full-day of fall festival fun in Princeton.