Scarecrows transform Coupeville into toon-land

Students and teacher Tami Aparicio rip up pillow stuffing while Lyla Stuurmans stuffs it into their scarecrow’s head.  - Rebecca Olson/Whidbey News-Times
Students and teacher Tami Aparicio rip up pillow stuffing while Lyla Stuurmans stuffs it into their scarecrow’s head.
— image credit: Rebecca Olson/Whidbey News-Times

Strawberry Shortcake is coming to Coupeville -- in the form of a scarecrow created by the students and parents of Central Whidbey Cooperative Preschool.

With her red yarn hair, dress sewn by a student’s grandma and striped stockings stuffed by excited preschoolers, Strawberry Shortcake will join other scarecrows created by local businesses and individuals on Main and Front streets in Coupeville. The annual Scarecrow Corridor will be in place by Friday, Oct. 7.

This year’s theme is children’s cartoon characters. Coupeville will remain in cartoon-land as scarecrows stand on street corners through October.

The preschool students voted to choose which favorite character would become a scarecrow, said teacher Tami Aparicio. Cartoon characters Lightning McQueen, Mickey Mouse and Buzz Lightyear lost to the sweet, bonneted girl.

The preschool participates in the Scarecrow Corridor every year and has won a few times in the past 9 years that Aparicio has participated.

Students painted pumpkins bright red and stuck pumpkin seeds on the outside to look like giant strawberries. Parents helped as the kids ripped apart a bale of hay and a pillow to stuff the scarecrow.

As parents sewed red yarn hair onto Strawberry Shortcake’s head, the kids dashed around the yard, playing tug-of-war with the insides of a pillow that hadn’t made it into the scarecrow yet. The day before, they’d worked hard sewing freckles onto Strawberry Shortcake’s face and creating a wig of crimped hair.

“This is going to be fun,” Aparicio said, smiling as she got to work helping kids turn the cloth, hay and cotton into a masterpiece.

To participate in the contest, fill out an application from the Central Whidbey Chamber of Commerce, located at 905 NW Alexander St., Coupeville, and start stuffing your own work of art.

Vote on your favorites through Oct. 14 at Whidbey Island Bank, Coupeville Library or the Central Whidbey Chamber of Commerce.

The scarecrows will face off for awards of people’s choice, best business effort and best individual effort. Winners will be announced at the Business Expo on Saturday, Oct. 15.

“People really get into it. You never know what you’re going to see,” said Lynda Eccles, executive director for the Central Whidbey Chamber of Commerce.

Participants aren’t restricted to the cartoon theme; they can build whatever kind of scarecrow inspires them, Eccles said.

“I’d just love everyone to take part because people come into town to look at them -- it’s become quite an attraction. Just have fun with it,” Eccles said.

For details call 678-5434 or visit


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