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Birds beware: Scarecrows are invading

Hoschton shoots for record number of effigies at event

POSTED: May 25, 2008 5:01 a.m.

HOSCHTON — Come September, there won’t be a crow for miles around Hoschton.

The city is hoping to garner the Guinness World Record for most scarecrows in one location by amassing 4,000 in the Hoschton ZIP code by Sept. 1.

"It’s cute. It’s interesting. It’s something to draw attention to (Jackson) county and bring tourism to the county, bring business to the county, as well as promote the fall festival," Mayor Bill Copenhaver said at a Monday press conference.

"They might think we’re loony, but they’re going to come," he added.

The idea is the brainchild of Robbie Bettis, who heads up the organizing committee for the annual Hoschton Fall Festival. It’s an expansion of the scarecrow contest that is such a big hit with festival goers each year. Bettis said the goal was to come up with something "unique and different" to draw attention to the festival, which is Sept. 26-27, and to Hoschton.

"You know most people can’t pronounce Hoschton, much less spell it," Bettis said.

For the record, Hosch is pronounced like push with an "h." And Hoschton native Bettis hopes that will be common knowledge after the city beats the Cincinnati Horticultural Society’s record of 3,311 scarecrows at the Flower and Farm Fest in October 2003.

There are 5,856 addresses with a Hoschton ZIP code. Though the city limits are only in Jackson County, the ZIP code spans Barrow, Gwinnett, Hall and Jackson counties.

Everyone is invited to participate, even those outside the city limits. Bettis said that out-of-town scarecrows can be brought to the city square and other Hoschton locations when it comes time to tally them up.

After a photo and location is recorded for all scarecrows, the information will be sent to Guinness World Records Limited in London.

Scarecrows must be handmade, moveable, attached to a post, stuffed and be at least 24 inches tall for kids and 48 inches for adults.



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