2013-11-08 / Front Page

Competition celebrates a construction-free fall

Sean P. Milligan
Contributing Writer


Top, Legion Square Market won the Sentry’s scarecrow contest and Taco Trio, right, came in second place. Businesses that participated in the event included Bangor Savings, Bath Savings, CIA, Elsmere BBQ, Embers Stove & Fireplaces, Flair For Hair, J.P. Thornton’s Restaurant, Linscott Real Estate, Nothing Bakes Like A Parrott, On The Move Fitness, Port Grooming, Spotlight Dance Studio, UPS Store and Verbena. (Courtesy photos) Top, Legion Square Market won the Sentry’s scarecrow contest and Taco Trio, right, came in second place. Businesses that participated in the event included Bangor Savings, Bath Savings, CIA, Elsmere BBQ, Embers Stove & Fireplaces, Flair For Hair, J.P. Thornton’s Restaurant, Linscott Real Estate, Nothing Bakes Like A Parrott, On The Move Fitness, Port Grooming, Spotlight Dance Studio, UPS Store and Verbena. (Courtesy photos) SOUTH PORTLAND – The people of South Portland may have noticed some odd looking pedestrians on city sidewalks recently. Just a year before, those sidewalks had been torn up for construction. In celebration of an autumn free of major construction in the city, local business owners created and displayed their own scarecrows.

The scarecrows were entered into a competition with residents and Sentry readers voting for their favorite. (Smaha’s) Legion Square Market, won first place with its shopping scarecrow.

“We all agreed that we wanted to do something with a shopper and a baby in a carriage, put some groceries in and make it like what we do here, grocery shopping,” said Alan Cardinal, owner of Legion Square Market.

Manuel Peña and his staff at Taco Trio chose a sugar skull-theme to celebrate their business’ Mexican roots, despite the lack of scarecrows in the country. Its scarecrow finished as the runner up.

Peña attributes the painting of the pumpkin’s face and construction to a talented cashier at the establishment.

“We don’t have scarecrows in Mexico,” Peña said. “This is totally American. I never saw one for real. Everything was an imitation of what was happening here.”

The winner and runner up will receive a half-page color ad and a quarter-page color ad, respectively, in an upcoming issue of the Sentry.

The idea for the citywide scarecrow competition came to Cindy Castaline, Mainely Media advertisement representative, on a hiking trip in Jackson, N.H. Seeing all of the themed scarecrows that lined the sidewalks of the town, Castaline was inspired to help the small business owners that she represents.

“I took pictures of (the scarecrows) and I came back,” Castaline said. “I said ‘I know exactly what to do to help these people next year.’”

The competition took place from the middle of October until voting ended Wednesday, Nov. 6.

Last fall between September and November, South Portland went through seven weeks of construction projects across the city that included repaving roads, tearing up sidewalks and shuffling parking spots. The construction, especially in the Knightville neighborhood, caused a decline in business due to lack of accessibility.

“Obviously, any time there’s construction and the roads are torn up it’s going to affect your business,” said Melissa Coriaty, owner of Verbena café. “But we were able to survive because of the support of our customers making it a point to get down here.”

The scarecrows were a way for business owners to celebrate and show their appreciation for patrons. Each scarecrow had a theme to match the business it represented.

Linscott Real Estate on Cottage Road, a couple-owned business, created a pumpkinhead hockey player complete with helmet, pads and a stick. The hockey family found it only natural to pair the scarecrow with the phrase “Pick a Winning Team.”

“We’re a huge hockey family,” said Melissa Linscott, also a city councilor. “Both of our kids play and so does Bryan, so it was only natural to choose that.”

In total, 16 businesses submitted a scarecrow to the competition.

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