Twenty-five years ago, according to Gloria Hansen, Door County was slightly different this time of year. The peninsula was just as beautiful, altering from a bright summer scene to a haven of red, orange, and yellow treetops, the apples just as crisp; however, Hansen remembers, “There were no cars.” The enchanting beauty of Door County’s autumn season was primarily a mystery, until Hansen and others brainstormed.
“We decided we needed something to attract people and boost economics around here,” says Hansen, owner of The Cupola House in Egg Harbor. “We decided a harvest celebration would be perfect: the fall flowers are just blossoming, the apples and fall vegetables are coming out.” The first year of the celebration, as well as the first year of the traditional Scarecrow Contest, was 1993.
Now businesses all over the village compete for the best Scarecrow display, ranging from familiar figures and/or scenes to original creations. More than an interesting scene of Scarecrow displays, however, a number of activities and performances will take place, including a putting contest, face painting, a magician, and live music. There will also be art and craft booths set up along the harbor, featuring a wide-range of Door County artisans.
Visitors can expect, according to Hansen, “a lot of music, activities – apple-dunking, pumpkin pie – and lots of pumpkins!” She recommends families bring their camera. “It is camera time,” she says. “I have seen children grow, year after year, while their parents take their pictures by the scarecrows outside the store.”
The final preparations, decorating and planning, are being wrapped up by the Pumpkin Patch Committee. Erica Dewitt of the Egg Harbor Visitor Center says, “This is a busy time. We expect anywhere from 20,000 to 40,000 people to attend.”
Harbor View Park will be the primary center of activity October 11 – 12, though businesses throughout the village will be showcasing fall decorations, scarecrows, as well as various activities and sales. Be sure to check next week’s Pulse for a detailed schedule of the weekend events.