Nina Violet, Cat In The Hat & More – The Story Behind Those Awesome Martha’s Vineyard Scarecrows

Schroeder Entertains At Bunch Of Grapes Bookstore In Vineyard HavenLast year, I wrote about the Scarecrow Festival, the annual Halloween fundraiser hosted by and for the Martha’s Vineyard Public Charter School. It was great to be able to learn more about the event and of course check out a number of the great scarecrows that were made.

This year, the theme for the scarecrows is music.  A great theme for this Island indeed, and this year, is a record year for the event. There are 85 scarecrows which can be found all over the Island, and this year, the scarecrows are unbelievable. The creativity, the craftsmanship, this year is truly spectacular.

I have to say that they are a great addition to the towns. Whether on Main Street or standing alone at a business up-Island, they are a real treat to see.  Actually, I did a tour of the Scarecrows with my little ones earlier on in the week. You can find the whole list of what’s where on the Charter School website.  It was really fun to do.

OK, so back to the record number of scarecrows. When looking at them, I noticed that one family, the Corcoran Family, did four scarecrows themselves! With dedication like that, I had to find out more.

Tarra and her girls, Lavinia (6 1/2 years old) and Olive (who’s almost 5), actually live down the street from me. Tarra is pretty creative. She owns MV Girlettes, a really cool children’s line, and naturally her daughters have some talent as well.

As I mentioned, there are record number of Scarecrows this year, but not a enough scarecrow makers. Originally the Tarra and the girls had planned to make two scarecrows since there are two girls. Usually the theme is books, so the girls picked Cat In The Hat and Curious George.  However, there was a little surprise with the theme of music.


So, back to the drawing board. It seemed as though George and Cat were out. With music as the scarecrow theme, the girls got really creative.

The first idea from the girls was Alvin and the Chipmunks. Clever indeed, since Alvin is quite musically inclined.  You can find Alvin at Espresso Love in Edgartown. He’s pretty cute, and a great greeter for the entrance way. You can’t help but smile when you see him.

A Local Favorite

Next, the girls decided on Nina Violet, an Island fav. Nina’s mom taught the girls music, and they had actually seen Nina walking down the street, and of course it clicked. They would make a scarecrow of Nina Violet.  I love it.

You know you’re famous on Martha’s Vineyard when a scarecrow is made of you! I bet Nina loves it! The girls used the picture from a CD of hers as inspiration. Ingenuous indeed ladies! You can catch a glimpse at Nina in front of Citrine in Vineyard Haven.

Indie Pop Represented

Whew, two were done, but it turns out more were needed. Of course the Lavinia and Olive were up for making more. Lavinia actually chose what or rather who the next Scarecrow would be. She is Clare or Clare and the Reasons, a Indie pop band from Brooklyn, NY, which happens to be her favorite band.

A pretty sophisticated selection for a 6 year old. I had never heard of the band before, so I had to check them out. Clare and The Reasons are pretty darn cool. I can’t believe I am finding out about cool music from a kid.

I need to get an upgrade to my playlist. You can find Clare and The Reasons at Laughing Bear in Oak Bluffs (she was moved from Vineyard Haven).

An Iconic Cat

So, three scarecrows completed, but the girls were still talking about Cat in the Hat. Tarra thought, why not make Cat too since there was a need. Also, they conveniently found his hat at Chicken Alley, so apparently it was meant to be.

Anyone who has ever watched Cat in the Hat knows that he loves to sing. As a matter of fact, now I’m singing the song “We’re Going To Go On An Adventure”. All you parents know what I’m talking about.

Cat in the Hat with a guitar and you have a scarecrow of one iconic cat. You can find this cool cat in front of EduComp in Vineyard Haven. You can’t miss him when you drive down State Road.

Another reason the scarecrows from the MVPCS are so awesome — The Cat in the Hat must bring so much joy to people who walk or drive by. I love it!

With 85 scarecrows for Halloween, you are bound to have a favorite! Take your own scarecrow tour and you’ll be delighted and amazed at the creativity of the kids and Island families.

From Ozzy Osbourne to Dolly Parton to Miss Piggy & Kermit the Frog to Elvis to the Little Mermaid (thank you Nevah Cavanaugh – she’s my daughter’s favorite) to Beethoven — these scarecrows are awesome, and another reason why Martha’s Vineyard is a great place to be in the fall. Who thinks there’s nothing happening in the off-season here!

What a way to get in the spirit of the season! The scarecrows will be at their “homes” until November 2nd. On November 3rd, they’ll make their way to the porch of the Mansion House in Vineyard Haven for an extra week of viewing. Talk about a porch party!

Just to let you know, you don’t have to be a member of the Charter School community to build a scarecrow. Anyone can do it. It’s a lot of fun to make one, and each scarecrow built comes with a chance to win an iPad, which is a great prize.

Give Paul Karasik a call at the school if you’re interested for next year, 508-693-9900.

Happy Halloween, hope you get to enjoy some treats and perhaps a trick or two. Thanks for reading On Point.  If you’d like more information about the Scarecrow Festival, you can visit the Charter School website.   Please don’t forget to  “Like” us on Facebook, on follow us on TwitterLinked InPinterest and YouTube.

2 thoughts on “Nina Violet, Cat In The Hat & More – The Story Behind Those Awesome Martha’s Vineyard Scarecrows”

  1. Thank you Gwen! Great job as usual! One thing… Claire, for her own reason, was moved to laughing bear in oak bluffs. She seems really happy there.
    Thank you charter school for always making it a community thing! What a special school!

    1. Thank you! I loved writing it! I love that you and your girls made 4 awesome Scarecrows!!! They really help make Halloween special on MV!!

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