Two of the scarecrows participating in the Scarecrow Showdown competition on Lincoln Avenue. Left, Dr. Cornea, a creation of Big City Optical. Right, the pig scarecrow representing Gene’s Sausage Shop & Delicatessen. Credit: Provided/Jonathon Chea and Yolanda Luszcz

LINCOLN SQUARE — Voting is now open to crown the winners of Lincoln Square’s Scarecrow Showdown.

Propped up on straw bales outside of businesses and homes on Lincoln Avenue between Lawrence and Sunnyside avenues, the 46 competitors come in many shapes and colors. One scarecrow has a cat head. Another shows off its NASA uniform. A third brandishes a sword and shield.

Lincoln Square Ravenswood Chamber of Commerce is hosting the competition as part of the 36th annual Apple Fest on Saturday and Sunday. Scarecrow Showdown voting opened ahead of the festival and will run until Oct. 13, with options to select winners in two categories: business and residential.

Parts of three scarecrows were removed earlier this week and two disappeared overnight, according to Lisa Ripson, communications director for the Lincoln Square Ravenswood Chamber of Commerce. But on the whole, Ripson said she thinks the competition has been a positive experience.

You can view photos of the scarecrows online.

Ian Tobin, the chamber’s vice president and director of community development, said the group took inspiration from a scarecrow competition in Annapolis, Maryland.

“With Apple Fest bringing in so many families here, we took that inspiration and we thought, why not adorn Lincoln Avenue in scarecrows to kick off autumn here?” Tobin said.

The Lincoln Square Ravenswood Chamber of Commerce provided participants with hay and a wooden frame and then “told people to just let their imaginations go wild,” Tobin said.

Jonathon Chea, general manager of Big City Optical, 4625 N. Lincoln Ave., said he heard about the Scarecrow Showdown in a Chamber of Commerce email. He’d never made a scarecrow before but decided to participate anyway.

“At first we were like, ‘Oh my god, this is gonna be impossible.’ But no, actually, it wasn’t too hard at all,” Chea said. “I actually had a great time doing it with my team.”

To supplement the starter kit, Chea and two of his colleagues sourced a lab coat from Party City, glued on flower patches for eyes and added a big pair of glasses. Their finished product: Dr. Cornea, the optometrist scarecrow.

Yolanda Luszcz, co-owner of Gene’s Sausage Shop & Delicatessen, 4750 N. Lincoln Ave., wanted to design a scarecrow reflective of Gene’s butcher shop. A self-described creative person, she chose to invert roles, creating a pig butcher with a fake limb hanging from its pocket.

As scarecrows popped up last week along Lincoln Avenue, Luszcz said she enjoyed seeing other people’s works.

“I think it was a wonderful way of bringing the community together,” Luszcz said.

Apple Fest runs from 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday on Lincoln Avenue between Lawrence and Sunnyside avenues — exactly where the scarecrows are.

Apple Fest has a suggested $5 donation, You can learn more about the festival and the Scarecrow Showdown on the Lincoln Square Ravenswood Chamber of Commerce’s website and Instagram.

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