2022 was the second year for the Invasion of the Scarecrows fundraiser for the Forest Park Arts Alliance and the Historical Society of Forest Park. The 100 new scarecrow kits the two local organizations created almost sold out again, and many participants in last year’s event decided to re-use their kits from 2021. Forest Park residents who decided to be part of the “Invasion” and display scarecrows in front of their homes showed off their creativity, talents and pride in Forest Park. Some of the creations were funny, some were scary, some were very clever, and all were very unique. There were even two residents of Oak Park who participated this year.
Forest Park residents and non-residents alike were able to find the scarecrow locations on an online interactive map on the historical society’s website, and they were also able to vote for their favorites in four different categories online. The winners have been announced:
Most Artistic: Dia de los Muertos - 819 Circle – Chris Harder
Most Historic: Showmen’s Rest – 946 Thomas – Sandy Byrnes
People’s Choice: Grogu – 901 Circle – Lucas Hanson
Forest Park Pride: 70’s Disco – 301 Elgin – Burhan Syed
Honorable mentions go to 438 Hannah (Hans and Lulu by Jana Schroeder) and 537 Marengo (I got Boo, Baby by Ricky Poonsa, who each had over 40 votes total, but not quite enough in any category to win. Bragging rights go the 900 block of Lathrop who had 5 entries, more than any other block.
All four winners received gift baskets with merchandise and/or gift certificates from local businesses. The Historical Society of Forest Park and the Forest Park Arts Alliance are grateful for merchandise, services and gif card donations from the following local businesses and organizations: Brown Cow, Kribi Coffee, Lin Beribak, Twisted Cookie, Sweetcastle, Jimmy’s, Maison de Bonbon, Fiore’s, Lathrop House, Loui’s, O’Sullivan’s Public House, Starship Subs, Tood & Holland’s, Smokey Joel’s, Schauer’s, Loyola Center for Fitness and Ed’s Way. The Forest Park Art’s Alliance and the Historical Society of Forest Park also donated prizes. A special Thank You goes to the sponsors Ed’s Way and Jimmy’s for their extremely generous donations.
100 more scarecrow kits will be available for purchase again starting next July. The Arts Alliance of Forest Park and the Forest Park Historical Society hope that this year’s “invaders” will want to be involved again in 2023 again as well, and that 200 scarecrows will be invading Forest Park next fall.