The weeks following the annual county fair are usually quiet, but officials want to change that with some new initiatives that will get under way this month.
Two events are set to take place at the Orangeburg County Fairgrounds before the end of October. The inaugural "Build a Scarecrow" recycling contest will accept entries through noon Saturday, Oct. 23, with the winners being displayed at the fairgrounds. And a "Trick or Trunk" is set for 6:30 to 8 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 26.
Fair concessions manager Sandra Watkins said the goal is to introduce the community to the opportunities available at the fairgrounds.
"We want to let the community know we're here and we have all this property that needs to be utilized," Watkins said. "These new events are an opportunity to let everyone see what we have to offer year-round.
"The fairgrounds can be used by all kinds of community groups. The YMCA had it this summer and brought kids here."
Watkins said fair officials are currently working with a local bank to act as sponsor for both events.
In the "Build a Scarecrow" contest, church, community and school youth groups are invited to construct a scarecrow sculpture using only recyclable materials. The final piece must be between 4 and 6 feet tall, and be free-standing, propped up or have the ability to be hung for display.
A pizza party, ice cream party and treat bags will be awarded to groups with the first-, second- and third-place winning scarecrows, respectively. Watkins said the winning sculptures will be displayed at the fairgrounds through the first of the year.
"The (Orangeburg Consolidated School District 5) Technology Center has expressed interest in displaying the winners at their building, too," Watkins said. "That will show off the kids' work, and that's a good thing.
"Right now, we have five groups that have signed up, but I'm not turning anyone down. As long as they can get their scarecrows to the fairgrounds before the deadline, we'll accept it."
As for the "Trick or Trunk" event, Watkins said area businesses are invited to decorate the back of a vehicle at the fairgrounds, and give out candy or prizes to children. Kids are encouraged to wear their Halloween costumes.
"We probably have at least 15 businesses that said they will participate," Watkins said. "We think about the kids that can't trick or treat where they live. Canaan Baptist Church will open that night to sell food, and we're looking to have one other vendor that will offer sweet treats."
Both events are free and open to the public. To obtain a "Build a Scarecrow" entry form, visit orangeburgcountyfair.org. For more information about events at the Orangeburg County Fairgrounds, call 803-534-0358 or e-mail Watkins at email@example.com.
Contact the writer: firstname.lastname@example.org or 803-533-5540.