WILTON — The Wilton Group and the Wilton Events Committee have dedicated the town’s Scarecrow Fest this year to a devoted organizer.

The Betty Shibles Memorial Scarecrow Fest and Pumpkin Derby will take place from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 21, downtown, Eileen Liddy, Wilton Group chairwoman, said.

Shibles had started planning this year’s Scarecrow Fest before she unexpectedly passed away Sept. 20, Liddy said.

“This is happening because of Betty,” Liddy said. “Her family has been very supportive and we could not have done it without their help.” 

The Scarecrow Fest and Pumpkin Derby is one example of Shibles’ efforts geared toward children and families, Town Manager Rhonda Irish said. She had a lot of help but the idea of the fall festival and derby was started a few years ago by her.

The day begins with children bringing their decorated scarecrows to McGillicuddy Park from 9 to 11:15 a.m., Liddy said.

There will be activities set up at the Wilton Free Public Library, the Wilton Congregational Church and Life’s Perks Coffee Shop.

At 11:15 a.m., children in costumes will line up with their costumed or uncostumed pets, decorated pumpkin cars, painted or carved pumpkins in front of Life’s Perks and march down the sidewalk to the monument.

Judging for best costume, best pet, best pumpkin and best car, as well as public viewing of the awards, takes place at the monument area, which will be closed to traffic during the festivities.

The Pumpkin Derby takes place at 1:30 p.m. on a slope next to Calzolaio Pasta Company. 

Twenty free kits for making pumpkin cars are available at Wilton Hardware on a first come, first served basis, she said.

Some downtown food businesses will be open for breakfast.

Liddy encourages participants to patronize the downtown restaurants for lunch and said local businesses have been supportive of the Scarecrow Fest and Pumpkin Derby.

Western Maine Community Action will not hold its fundraising dip, Freezin for a Reason, in Wilson Lake.

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A fall festival in Wilton is named this year for the late Betty Shibles, founder and supporter of the event. The Betty Shibles Memorial Scarecrow Fest and Pumpkin Derby takes place from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 21, in downtown Wilton.

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