You know it's fall in Fairport when the scarecrows come out. They'll be lining Main Street on Saturday for the annual Scarecrow Festival, which has a few new twists this year.
For one, it will be held in conjunction with some Fairport High School homecoming activities, including the 9 a.m. parade down Main Street that kicks off the day's events.
Perhaps one of the most unusual features new this year is a drive-in movie night with a giant inflatable screen. It will be set up in the Village Landing parking lot, where people can pull up around dusk and watch Shrek the Third.
The first two Shrek movies were shown in the village during the summer. The third installment was postponed because of the weather.
Scott Winner, program director of the Fairport Village Partnership, said the projection company ZuperMovies
of Clarkson will use low-power audio to transmit the sound through car radios. Speakers will also be used so people who prefer to pull up chairs instead will be able to the hear the feature.
We will have traffic control devices that will direct people to parking areas, Winner said. There will also be an area up front we've cordoned off for pedestrians on lawn chairs.
The festival will also include food, live music, dancing, and children's activities including pumpkin painting, bobbing for apples and antique fire engine rides, all in conjunction with the classic sidewalk sale, during which merchants and organizations compete for prizes by designing scarecrows they'll display for two weeks.
From a family perspective, this is my favorite event, said Ed Bradford, president of the Fairport Perinton Merchants Association, which presents the festival. For over 20 years, residents and businesses have come together to compete for bragging rights of who has the best scarecrow. It can get very competitive. Every year, I receive one or two calls on how their scarecrow was somehow overlooked. I can assure you that the judging process is done in a fair manner. It is just a great event based on family atmosphere to good old local competition.
From the business perspective, it is always a banner day for the local merchants, Bradford continued. As part of the event, local businesses usually conduct sidewalk sales offering their merchandise at great prices. Last year, despite the weather being a bit chilly, many businesses had their best days ever for the event.
There will also be several performances throughout the day in Kennelley Park; at 2 p.m., the Fairport High Red Raiders will take on Penfield in their homecoming game, which will be played on the new turf field behind the school.
Scarecrow Festival is a really fun exciting time for the whole family, said Winner. People love coming and checking out the creativity of all the contestants as they create their scarecrow tableaus. It's an annual rite of fall in Fairport.
For more information, go to the merchants association's Web site at www.fairportmerchants.com.