Although scarecrows will no longer be lining the bike path from Stevensville to the river this fall, they will still be dropping in to attend the second annual Scarecrow Brewfest in downtown Stevensville, thanks to Jim Edwards, owner of Burnt Fork Market.
Stevensville’s annual Scarecrow Festival was the brainchild of former resident Gary Knapp and the Stevensville Art and Sculpture Society. It was then adopted by the Stevensville Main Street Association which managed and promoted the event successfully for a number of years. When the Main Street organization dissolved, however, the Scarecrow Festival fell into limbo.
Faced with a lack of leadership in maintaining the event, Edwards decided to do what he could to keep the spirit of the event alive by combining it with his annual Brewfest. This year the Scarecrow Brewfest is set to happen once again in the heart of downtown Stevensville. One block of East Third Street from Main to Church will be closed for the event. The bandstand will be located in the parking lot behind Rocky Mountain Bank and right across the street from the Stevensville Hotel. Music will be provided by the popular band Mudslide Charlie. The festival starts at 3 p.m. and the band will perform from 5 to 8 p.m. on Saturday, October 3rd.
According to Edwards, there will be some food trucks parked nearby and, of course, some scarecrows and some fire pits. He said there would be some scarecrows at Burnt Fork Market and at Mission Bistro, too. He said he was encouraging other businesses in town to put scarecrows out as well.
The $25 ticket price includes a commemorative glass and drinks and the profits from the event will go to the Stevensville Civic Club, according to Edwards. Tickets may be purchased at the Tin Can, at Burnt Fork Market and at the Pattee Creek Market in Missoula.
Edwards said that he felt lucky to have so many local brewers coming to Stevensville to share their passion for what they do. The locals include Bitterroot Brewing, Higher Ground, Bayern, Kettle House and Draft Works. A couple of out-of-state brewers will also be there, including Ten Barrel and Dogfish Head breweries. Edwards said that one of his favorite out-of-state brews comes from the Dogfish Head Craft Brewery in Delaware and he’s excited about people getting a chance to taste it. If beer is not your thing, you could try another kind of brew provided by the Black Rifle Coffee Company.
Edwards said that there were a few other surprises that he was still working on and waiting for word to come back. He said the venue was good because it gives people a lot of room to spread out for social distancing purposes.
“I could have easily let this thing go and not do it, but I just couldn’t let it go,” said Edwards. He said he was extremely disappointed that the community wasn’t pulling together to hold the Scarecrow Festival this year. He said after tying it to his Brewfest last year, he was not going to let it go down on his watch.
“This is a time that we can still pull together, and have events like this and still be safe,” he said. Edwards said that the Scarecrow Festival was a great thing for Stevensville and we should not let it go by the wayside.