SCHENECTADY -- The scarecrows are coming.
People who visit the annual Upper Union Street Harvest Festival on Saturday will see a team of straw men in front of businesses on the street.
There will be other diversions during the party, which will begin at 10 a.m. and end at 3 p.m. Music, kids' activities, local vendors and special sales and promotions from businesses located between Palmer and Garner avenues are all in the game plan.
The scarecrow show is a new gag. More than 20 businesses along Upper Union will sew and stuff, and visitors will cast ballots for the winner.
"The scarecrow contest is a fun way to encourage visitors to step inside our wonderful neighborhood stores and restaurants,” said Shane Mahar, vice chairman of the Upper Union Street Business Improvement District. "The best part is that the scarecrows will stay up through Halloween and we’ll have online voting. So, even if you can’t make it to Harvest Fest, come down and take a stroll before October 31 and vote for your favorite. If you submit a ballot with your email address, you’ll be eligible to win prizes from our businesses.”
The scarecrow squad includes AAA Northway, Breugger’s, City Squire, Dance Me, DiCocco and Associates, Domani Spa, Dunkin’ Donuts, Flowers by Jo-Ann, Gershon’s, GreenLeaf Wellness, Hartz Family Cleaners, Head to Tail, Michael’s Shoe Service, Musler’s Fine Women’s Clothing, Northeastern Fine Jewelry, Sondra’s Fine Jewelry, Sophia Sabella Studio, TrustCo Bank, Union Café, Upstate CBD, Union Street Veterinary Hospital.
The electronic ballot will be available after the festival at http://www.upperunionstreet.com/harvest/.
In addition to the scarecrows, the event will include an “artisan market” of local vendors -- sampling and selling handmade food, wine, spirits, cider and products. Students from Dance Me will perform outdoors. Matt Connell & Friends will provide live music. Pony rides will be available, at $5 per ride.
A bounce house will be located at Homestyle Pizza. Personnel from Buhrmaster Farms will sell harvest items from the fields.
“This is the most important time of year for small businesses,” Mahar said. “We hope Harvest Festival is a way to remind people about our special neighborhood as we head into the holiday shopping season. When you buy local, your money stays right here in our community."
The Upper Union Street businesses offering specials for the 2019 Harvest Festival include:
* Breuggers -- Free pumpkin samples.
* City Squire -- Autumn drink specials.
* Ed's Barber Shop -- Live acoustic music.
* Famiglia Salon -- Boutique blowout sale and hair extensions.
* Gershon's Deli -- Apple cider, donuts, live music.
* Head to Tail -- Free dog and cat treats, dog bandanas.
* McDonald's -- Apple and crème pie special.
* Sophia Sabella Photography -- Ten-minute mini photo shoots.
* Tesoros Café -- Apple crisp crepes.
* TrustCo Bank -- Trusty the Dog.
More information about the festival is available at www.uppersunionstreet.com. People looking forward to the winter holiday season can mark their calendars -- the Union Street BID's holiday tree lighting will be held on Saturday, Nov. 30, “Small Business Saturday.”
Contact Gazette reporter Jeff Wilkin at 518-395-3124 or at [email protected]