Create Your Own Scarecrow to Display along Scarecrow Alley at Cape May’s Emlen Physick Estate


Create your own scarecrow that will take up residence beside dozens of others along “Scarecrow Alley” this Halloween season, when the grounds of the Emlen Physick Estate, 1048 Washington St., are transformed into a spectacle of scary and silly, all original, handmade specters, from Friday, Oct. 11 through Saturday, Nov. 3.

The 11th Annual Scarecrow Contest presented by the Mid-Atlantic Center for the Arts & Humanities (MAC) is underway, and there is still time to rally friends, family, schoolmates and colleagues, or come up with your own idea, for creating a scarecrow. Registration is free. Register your entry and compete for prizes, with an overall prize of $200 earmarked for the People’s Choice Award given to the creator of the scarecrow that receives the most votes from visitors to the estate.

Submit your registration form to Anna Marie Leeper at 609-224-6045 or Contact Anna for more information. You can download an application form and rules from the Halloween page on MAC’s website at Go to Halloween Happenings/Scarecrow Alley.

The deadline to submit the completed registration form is Thursday, Oct. 10. Participants choose to register in one of five categories: (1) Individuals or Families, (2) Businesses (3) Non-profit, Church, Club, or Scout Troop, (4) School Class or (5) Munchkin (Children ages 3-10). MAC will have straw and wooden cross stakes available for registrants, if needed, (small stakes available in the Munchkin category), which can be picked up at the Maintenance Barn on the Estate between 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., You may pick up cross stakes and hay from Monday, Sept. 30 through Thursday, Oct. 10 at the Maintenance Barn, on the grounds of the Emlen Physick Estate, 1048 Washington Street, Cape May. All entrants receive a 4-feet-by-4-feet area to decorate, and larger spaces are available upon request. Multiple scarecrows, whimsical characters and miscellaneous props may be displayed. Scarecrows may reflect a special theme or promote your organization or business. Scarecrows may be dropped off the week of Monday, Oct. 7-Thursday, Oct. 10, between 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. All entries will be displayed from Friday, Oct. 11 through Saturday, Nov. 2.

MAC will create signs for your scarecrow display that include your Scarecrow’s name, your name, business, school, organization or affiliation.

 Visitors to the Physick Estate will be encouraged to vote for their favorite scarecrow by filling out a ballot in the Carriage House from Friday, Oct. 11 through Saturday, Nov. 2. Friends and family members are encouraged to visit the Estate and vote for their favorites.

Winners will be notified Monday, Nov. 4. Prizes include a People’s Choice Award of $200 for the scarecrow with the most votes, $100 in the individual/family category, a display ad on MAC’s Web site in the business category, a pizza party for the winning non-profit, community or scout group, and for the winning “munchkin” entry and 10 of his or her friends, and a pizza party and free Cape May Lighthouse climb for the winning school group.

Here are some tips and guidelines for making your scarecrow:

  • Scarecrows must be constructed to withstand severe wind and rainy weather conditions.
  • Use care in choosing your materials. All decorations must be firmly attached to your scarecrow/display.
  • Use staple guns, fishing line or string to secure your scarecrow.
  • If you use newspaper or hay to stuff your scarecrow, we recommend stuffing the material in plastic bags to help the scarecrow last. Wet materials will weigh down your creation.
  • Scarecrows must be in good taste; scarecrows or displays reflecting controversial, social, religious or political opinions or statements will not be accepted.


Mid-Atlantic Center for the Arts & Humanities (MAC) is a multifaceted not-for-profit organization committed to promoting the preservation, interpretation, and cultural enrichment of the Cape May region for its residents and visitors. MAC membership is open to all. For information about MAC’s year-round schedule of tours, festivals, and special events, call 609-884-5404 or 1 (800) 275-4278, or visit MAC’s Web site at