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Scarecrow fest marks Nibley’s sister-city bond with English village

September 16th, 2012 Posted in Arts and Life

Story & photos by Danielle Manley

NIBLEY — A homemade figure made of straw and old rags stared back at families gathering for a new local tradition — a scarecrow festival. The almost forgotten 19th century tradition was revived in Nibley when the city organized its first scarecrow festival Sept. 7 and 8, in honor of its sister city in the United Kingdom, North Nibley.

“Janitors” by Tyler and Connie Whitesides won the popular vote. Photo by Danielle Manley.

“North Nibley has a festival every year,” said Bob Sidwell, president of the Sister City Club. “That’s what started this.” Utah’s Nibley formed its sister-city relationship with North Nibley in March.

The English village is hosting its fifth annual scarecrow festival this fall. One component of the festival is an optional theme. This year the village will create scarecrows based on TV and movie characters, Sidwell said.

Nibley’s scarecrows were set up and decorated at the new city-owned community farm. Morgan Farm hosted more than 30 scarecrow exhibits, all based on a children’s book theme. More than 1,000 people attended the festival and 829 votes were cast for favorite scarecrows.

Winners were decided and split in two different categories. The winner of the business entries was a Wizard of Oz scene created by Nibley Children’s Theater, and The Invisible Man by the Sidwell family won the local families category. Janitors by Tyler and Connie Whitesides won the popular vote.

A Wizard-of-Oz scene by the Nibley Children’s Theatre won the prize for best scarecrow by a business. HNC photo by Danielle Manley.

“There were many positive comments shared,” City Councilman Bryan Hansen said. “Listening to the children and watching them run from one scene to the next was a very rewarding experience.”

Sidwell also is satisfied with the outcome of the festival. “We invited a number of markets around town to participate and several came,” he said.

Coordinating with the children’s book theme, the city also hosted a reading competition for local elementary schools. In two weeks, students read more than 500,000 minutes in the first Get-A-Brain Read-a-thon. Hansen is proud of the event’s success.


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