Lost River Cave’s ninth annual Scarecrow Trail will be open to the public next month.

Scarecrows created and donated by local businesses and families will be found throughout the park’s many walking trails starting Oct. 2.

The public is encouraged to take in the fall sights and can vote for the “people’s choice” favorite scarecrow. The park’s panel of judges will also choose first-, second-, and third-place participants.

“We are excited that in a year of chaos that we can get back to normal and have fun,” Lost River Cave Event Sales Manager Maegan Williams said. “This is something for the whole family to enjoy, and we really just want people to have that sense of normalcy once again.”

Registration for sending in scarecrows ended Sept. 11. This year will mark one of the largest fields of participants that the contest has seen as 65 scarecrows are part of the competition.

The cost to participate for families and nonprofits was $25 a scarecrow while businesses had to pay $50 a scarecrow. All proceeds go to maintain Lost River Cave.

An estimated 8,000 people will see the scarecrows in person, and the displays will also be shared on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter where Lost River Cave has more than 20,000 followers.

The people’s choice winner will receive a trophy. Voting for the award starts Oct. 2 and ends Oct. 11. Walking the trails is free of charge to the public.

However, this year’s contest will look a bit different because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

“We are going to put some directional signs out, and there also won’t be any restrooms or water fountains open on the trail,” Williams said. “Only restrooms in the gift shop will be open, and everyone is going to be spaced out on the trail.”

Also, access to the gift shop requires wearing a face mask, and social distancing guidelines are still in effect. Anyone feeling unwell or has been in contact with anyone feeling unwell is asked to stay at home.

– Follow reporter John Reecer on Twitter @JReecerBGDN or visit bgdailynews.com.

– Follow reporter John Reecer on Twitter @JReecerBGDN or visit bgdailynews.com.

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