Idaho Botanical Garden Scarecrow Stroll

The Idaho Botanical Garden is hosting a number of outdoor Halloween activities.

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The Idaho Botanical Garden is known for many things. People talk about the Outlaw Field Concert Series, the Great Garden Escape and Winter Garden aGlow.

Add to the milieu the Scarecrow Stroll, in which individual artists, groups of friends, schools and companies submit their scarecrows for public consumption during Halloween season.

“It’s more of an installation,” said Gillian Bovard, the garden’s event operations manager. “I think as a garden, this is a popular event. We want some really high-quality scarecrows.”

With that aim in mind, Bovard and IBG have issued a call to artists to submit their own works to the Scarecrow Stroll, now in its 12th year. Submissions are due by Thursday, Oct. 1, and must come with a $10 entry fee. During the stroll, visitors to the garden are encouraged to vote on their favorite pieces, and after Halloween, IBG will announce the winning scarecrows.

Throughout its dozen-year lifespan, it has attracted compellingly creative scarecrows, but IBG has its sights on eventually increasing the size of the prize for winning scarecrows—this year’s prize is TBA—and growing the number of submissions by local artists. The idea, Bovard said, is to “get to the point where there is more of a competition.”

The Scarecrow Stroll doesn’t offer a good environment for delicate works of art; instead, scarecrows will spend a month out of doors, and Bovard advises contributors to keep durability and the elements in mind.

In recent weeks, news about IBG’s precarious financial situation broke. Because of the coronavirus, its big-ticket summer activities were postponed or cancelled. Events like the Scarecrow Stroll could help increase attendance.

“We really rely on events and our daily admission to support our operations at the garden, and just like every organization, this year has been challenging,” she said. “[October] is a pretty good month for us, and we’d like to see people continue coming up to see the garden.”

For more information on how to submit a scarecrow to Scarecrow Stroll, send an email to

—Harrison Berry

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