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Innisfail's inaugural Harvest Festival attractions delight crowds

About 40 entries in scarecrow decorating contest lined the pathway along 60th Avenue in Innisfail

INNISFAIL - The inaugural Harvest Festival drew in crowds to the Centennial Park area over the weekend.

The Sept. 17-18 event featured kids games, food trucks, a vendor market and a magician along with a scarecrow decorating contest many in the town would be familiar with from years gone by.

Margaret Jackson spent time with a family member on Sunday walking the line of scarecrow creations set up along the 60th Avenue pathway bordering Napoleon Lake.

“I think they’re all beautiful. I think they’re going to have an awful time choosing who’s going to get first prize,” said the Autumn Grove resident.

The senior’s lodge where Jackson resides put in an entry in the scarecrow competition.

It was one of about 40 entries created by businesses, individuals, families, non-profits and others.

While the People’s Choice award went to Your Family Day Home for “The Bride” entry, there were many other winners named during judging on the Sunday.

Jackson remembers when decorated scarecrows used to line Main Street.

After several starts and stops over the years, the Scarecrow Festival was revived in spirit this year during the inaugural Harvest Festival.

The newly-created Innisfail Special Events Planning Society incorporated the themed decorating competition into a two-day event intended to broaden community participation.

What started out as an idea months ago only grew with interest in helping the inaugural event get off the ground.

The title sponsor was Fortis Alberta. The electricity distribution company was among many backers of the event.

The Harvest Festival drew in families and individuals from town, at least one of whom said they had lived in Innisfail for a while but had not yet visited Centennial Park.

A volunteer in the society’s hospitality tent named Sylvan Lake as one of the out-of-town places that attendees came from.