People came from all over to snap a selfie or see if they could find all the scarecrows that were displayed across Rocky Mount.

Community Partnership for Revitalization started “The Scarecrow Trail” as a contest with rules, criteria and deadlines.

However, after a few businesses put their scarecrows up, they started popping up all over town without people even realizing there was a form to fill out.

“We were thrilled people were so imaginative and creative and welcomed all who created a scarecrow,” said Donna Wray, CPR president. “The response was tremendous. There were over 80 scarecrows we were aware of. We can’t thank everyone enough for the participation.”

Wray said the idea was just to get a few scarecrows and some fall decor downtown, but the idea caught on, and people began to ask how to vote for their favorites or if there was an app or a list to see them all.

A panel of five were selected as judges and, coupled with votes and Facebook comments on CPR’s page, 22 winners were announced Sunday, Nov. 3 at a small gathering at the Rocky Mount Farmers’ Market.

Wray said everyone who participated was a winner, and the town was the “real winner.”

“Our community was the winner, and we are glad that such a simple idea brought so many smiles,” Wray said.

There was one moment of controversy over a display by the Franklin County Clerk of the Circuit Court office that depicted a judge sentencing a bootlegger. The display was ordered removed, but the display received overwhelmingly positive comments on social media and tied for first place in the contest. It was so popular that local businessman Andy Turner, who also ran for commissioner of the revenue in Franklin County, recreated the scene outside his campaign headquarters.

Wray said the scarecrow trail will be back next year and has already heard plans from some businesses. For now, CPR is turning its efforts to the annual Come Home to a Franklin County Christmas celebration scheduled for Friday, Dec. 6.

Scarecrow Winners

Foley’s Complete Automotive and the Clerk of the Circuit Court office “Judge Lawless and Otis” tied for the people’s choice award. Foley’s won funniest, while the clerk’s office took home the award for most discussed.

Pearle’s Thimble, “Miss Sew Fancy,” Judges’ Choice

Farm Credit of Virginias “Farmer Franklin,” Most Traditional

USPS — Rocky Mount, Most Active

Pell Animal Clinic, Animal Lovers

Rocky Mount Volunteer Fire Department, “Warts,” First Responder

Haywood’s Jewelers, “I Do,” Most Romantic

Downtown Music, “Juan Man Band,” Most Artistic

Whole Bean Coffeehouse, Most Comforting

Jeff’s Car Care, “Dusty,” Most Personal

Mountain to Lake Realty and Wood Grains, “Sawyer Wood,” tied for Best Business-Related

Rocky Mount Burger Company, “Bob Bird,” Best Fed

The Franklin News-Post, “News Flash,” Best Reporting

Angle Hardware, “ACE: The Hardware Man,” Best Use of Materials

Gina’s Place, “Miss Shirley,” and Blooming Deals, “Sunny Blooms,” tied for Prettiest

Holley Insurance, “Hol and Ley Boo Boo,” and Alison Crawford Vest, Farmer’s Insurance, “The Professor,” tied for Best Insured

Carilion Franklin Memorial Hospital, Best Group Effort

Misty Mountain, “Big Love,” Most Colorful

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