Beginning Oct. 1, anyone strolling through the streets of downtown Thomson will be greeted by a host of scarecrows, each representing a local business, organization or event.
The third annual Fall Crows event is held by the Thomson-McDuffie Chamber of Commerce.
Kim Thomas, the office manager at the chamber, said the event has grown in popularity in Thomson and the surrounding areas since its inception in 2009.
"It provides exposure for the businesses and brings new people to town," she said. "We have people calling and asking when we're putting [the crows] out. They come and see them and then want to check out the shops because they think this must be an interesting town."
Out of 101 possible locations along Main Street, Hill Street and Railroad Street, 13 have already been filled. Sites are assigned on a first-come, first-served basis.
The entry fee is $15 until Oct. 11 and $20 until Oct. 21. The proceeds from Fall Crows displays will fund the Jack-O'-Lanterns on Journal event. All fees and registration forms must be submitted at the Chamber office.
For the past two years, a committee has judged the crows and selected the winners. This year members of the community can cast one vote per day at the chamber office. The event committee will present the People's Choice Award to the crow that receives the most votes.
Voting will begin Oct. 1 and run until Oct. 22. The winner will be announced at the Jack-O'-Lantern on Journal festival on Oct. 27.
The first-place winner will receive $100 in Chamber Bucks, and the second- and third-place displays will each receive $25 in Chamber Bucks.
Last year, Jim Capps Therapy's crow took first place in the competition. Though Deborah Lollar-Chase had only worked there for a few months, she organized the display in 2010.
"I was totally flabbergasted when I saw that we won," she said. "I walked down there at 5:30 in the morning, and I was the only one on the block. They must've just put the ribbon on the night before."
Lollar-Chase said she was putting some finishing touches on the scarecrow, and she didn't notice the ribbon at first.
"When I saw first place I screamed," she said. "It was just thrilling to me."
Besides receiving a prize, the business also benefitted from the publicity it received from newspapers and on television, she said.
Lollar-Chase plans to organize the display for Jim Capps Therapy this year too. She said the crow will have a different design but will incorporate some remnants from last year's winning display.
Contact the Chamber office at (706) 597-1000.