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May 14, 2008

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Hoschton seeking world record for scarecrows
Festival organizers want 4,000 scarecrows displayed
Hoschton is aiming high for its fall festival — namely, a spot in the Guinness World Records.
The city announced plans Monday to break the world record for “Most Scarecrows in One Location” by placing 4,000 scarecrows throughout the Hoschton mailing route.
The mailing route extends into Jackson, Gwinnett, Barrow and Hall counties, and includes Mill Creek High School, The Village at Deaton Creek and the West Jackson area, near Traditions of Braselton.
There are more than 5,800 houses in the 30548 zip code that receive mail from the Hoschton Post Office, according to festival organizers.
Hoschton hopes the novelty of so many scarecrows in the area will not only bring the community together, but also bring visitors to its fall festival, set for Sept. 26-27.
“It’s funny; it’s unique and we want people to take it that way,” said mayor Bill Copenhaver. “It’s just something to help bring people to the county. Maybe they’ll laugh at us some — that’s alright, just as long as they come and spend their money.”
The current record for the most scarecrows was set on Oct. 12, 2003, when the Cincinnati Horticultural Society’s Flower and Farm Fest displayed 3,311 scarecrows.
Robbie Bettis, one of the organizers of the Hoschton Fall Festival, said the Ohio-based organization proudly markets its world record designation.
“Our goal is to have that hanging from our water tower by Oct. 1,” Bettis said.
Hoschton plans to enlist subdivisions, churches, civic organizations, schools and businesses in the mailing route to establish a new world record.
Those who want to participate in the event — but live outside the mailing route — may contact festival organizers to have their scarecrows placed in the city, Copenhaver said.
Council member Theresa Kenerly is offering her family’s large ranch on Ga. Hwy. 53 to place scarecrows. The ranch has a mile-long fence, where the scarecrows can be displayed, she said.
To be named to the Guinness World Records, Hoschton must document all of the scarecrows, which will be given a number and photographed. Participants are asked to register their scarecrows with organizers. The deadline is display the scarecrows is Sept. 1, before the information is sent to the Guinness World Records in London.
Complete rules and entry forms will be available at
Bettis said organizers plan to hold several contests in an effort to establish a new world record. Workshops on building scarecrows are also planned at the depot.
Hoschton has also named several team leaders to organize the effort between subdivisions, churches, businesses, schools and other organizations. The group is also seeking donations to build some scarecrows.
Driving Magic, a Hoschton-based non-profit organization, will be the beneficiary charity of the scarecrow effort. Bettis said organizers hope to find a sponsor that may contribute $1 to the charity for each scarecrow.
Driving Magic provides therapeutic and recreational equine-assisted activities for children and adults with disabilities. The organization operates at Steadfast Farms, a 680-acre working farm and boarding facility.
Bettis said displaying 4,000 scarecrows in Hoschton may be an economic tool that will put the city “on the map.”
“You know, most people can’t pronounce Hoschton, much less spell it,” she said.


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