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Out & About: Scarecrows, Pumpkin People return for the fall

  • A scarecrow dressed as a fisherman stands on the Shaker Bridge on Tuesday, Oct. 3, 2017, in Enfield, N.H. (Valley News - Charles Hatcher) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to Charles Hatcher—Valley News - Charles Hatcher

Valley News Staff Writer
Published: 10/6/2021 9:30:47 PM
Modified: 10/6/2021 9:30:51 PM

Scarecrows are ridiculous. They’re kitschy and silly. I regularly question their practical uses and whether crows, which are known for their intelligence in the bird world, are actually fooled by the straw-stuffed figures.

I don’t care. Their ridiculousness is why I love them. And lucky for me — and all those who appreciate fall decor or upcycled overalls — there’s plenty to see in the Upper Valley.

One of my favorite things to do in the fall is to take a drive through Plainfield to view their venerable Pumpkin People. (Yes, I am aware that Pumpkin People are different than scarecrows, but they’re life-size fall decorations with faces, so close enough.)

Each fall, residents dress up Pumpkin People ranging from Halloween scenes to takes on popular culture. Even without seeing them all yet, I can safely say no two are alike. For more information, visit or Facebook: Plainfield Pumpkin People.

Back for the second year in a row is the Lebanon-Upper Valley Lions Club Scarecrow Challenge. For a $10 donation, people and businesses can create a scarecrow and enter it into a contest. On Halloween, judges will go around to the different sites to choose a winner. Currently, there are some scarecrows at Colburn Park in downtown Lebanon. For more information or to register, visit

If you’re heading east on Route 4 toward Enfield, don’t be alarmed if you see unmoving would-be pedestrians on the side of the road. They’re just the Enfield Village Association’s scarecrows and I can almost promise they won’t make you look twice the more you pass them by. But be sure to detour to Main Street and beyond to see more. They’re truly a delight.

The Grantham scarecrows are also back this year and the Lake Sunapee Region Chamber of Commerce is hosting its own Pumpkin People contest in the dozen towns in its coverage area. Visit to enter or for more information.

I write about the Pumpkin People or scarecrows in some fashion every year. But it never gets old for me.

When I think of reasons I love the Upper Valley, they come to mind; it’s another example of community members doing something to put a smile on the faces of their friends and neighbors, or passing strangers — or pumpkins, dressed in thrift store clothes, with glitter paint.

Liz Sauchelli can be reached at or 603-727-3221.

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