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'Scarecrow Madness' spreads throughout Johnson County

Nearly 200 scarecrows are decorating homes and businesses across the county as part of a fundraiser for Johnson County Senior Services.

JOHNSON COUNTY, Ind. — "Scarecrow Madness" has spread throughout Johnson County. That's the name of a community fundraiser on display on the south side this October. The scarecrows are not scaring anyone, but the growing event is something everyone can enjoy. 

Outside businesses and churches and in front yards, scarecrows celebrate the dress-up-in-costume season in Greenwood, Franklin, and other towns around the county. This is the second year for Scarecrow Madness, organized by Realtor Jeanie Cole. 

"It is my baby," Cole said. "I was in Chester, New Hampshire, two years ago to visit a sister, and they have over 1,000 scarecrows in Chester, New Hampshire, now. I got the idea from them."

The $25 scarecrow kit raises money for Johnson County Senior Services. The kit includes a 7-foot pole with a crosspiece and a burlap head. The head can be pre-painted with a face, or left blank to be painted by the owner, or Cole can create a custom face.  

There are 175 scarecrows are on display this year, up from 138 the first year in 2019.

The Beatles on "Shabbey Road" by Sherrill Hofer in Greenwood won first place for residential. Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs by Carpenter Realtors in Greenwood took first place in business. Assist Indiana in Franklin won the non-profit category with E.T. and Elliott riding a bike.

For the second straight year, Carpenter Realtors in Franklin is the grand prize winner with a 15-scarecrow, three-scene "Wizard of Oz" display outside their offices.

"It's about communities coming together, the joy of driving around and seeing these beautiful scarecrows, putting smiles on people's faces," Cole said. "I like the camaraderie. People are working together to make the scarecrow. They're proud of it."

All the scarecrow locations can be found on an interactive website map. You can search for 14 scarecrows specially marked for selfies. 

The scarecrows are on display through Halloween.