Vineland Pride in Fall


swansonDowntown Vineland

By Russell Swanson, Exec. Director, VDID / Main Street Vineland

A Columnist for the Grapevine Newspaper

Enter a scarecrow, vote for your favorite, and/or come out for the Pumpkin Patch Party.
As summer transitions to fall, Main Street Vineland is ready to switch gears and bring some autumn cheer and festivities to our downtown. What could be more synonymous with fall than scarecrows and pumpkins! Well, we have both in store—and even more.
First, we’re partnering with the Vineland Board of Education in a “Scarecrow Challenge” contest. All Vineland public and private schools, as well as local clubs and organizations, are invited to design scarecrows. The scarecrows, situated on frames made available through the Board of Education, will be mounted on downtown lampposts on Landis Avenue. Some lampposts will be decorated with cornstalks.
You can contact the Main Street Vineland office, if you’re interested in entering a scarecrow. The deadline for entering scarecrows will be October 7 and they will go up on October 17. For more information on entering a scarecrow, call us at the Main Street Vineland office. To order a frame, contact Ross Stanger, the Vineland Board of Education’s supervisor of instruction, at 856-794-6700, ext. 2016 or at
At that point, we’re leaving it up to you to vote. The idea is to make this a real “people’s choice” contest. You can vote online by going to the link on the Main Street Vineland website——or you can vote by paper ballot in selected downtown Vineland stores. If you vote by paper ballots, you must do so by the end of the day on Thursday, October 27. The scarecrows will be judged on creativity and design. I want to thank Ross for all his help in this project.
Then, on Saturday, October 29, head over to the mini-parks at Landis Avenue and the Boulevard for a Pumpkin Patch Party from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. The mini-parks will be decorated for fall, with hay bales, pumpkins, mums—the whole bit. We’ll have activities such as a Pokémon walk in costume, a DJ, and pumpkin painting. We’ll have apple cider to drink and lots more. At that time, we’ll announce the winner of the Scarecrow Challenge and the two runner-ups. We’ll have some great prizes for them.
This is yet another way in which we’re making our downtown a focal point for our city and making our mini-parks the center of activity for which they were created—something I covered in one of my previous columns. It also brings the community together—children and adults alike—in an act of Vineland Pride. Whether you want to enter a scarecrow, vote for your favorite, and/or come out for the Pumpkin Patch Party, your participation will help make our downtown the best it can be.
Speaking of pride in Vineland, come out and see firsthand Vineland’s heritage at our next Downtown Merchants Meet-and-Greet. It is coming up on Thursday, October 6, from 5:30 to 7 p.m., at the Vineland Historical & Antiquarian Society, 108 S. Seventh Street. These Meet-and-Greets are held every other month and are a great opportunity to bring the various downtown businesses together to get to know and network with each other and with Main Street Vineland representatives. We also want the public to come and interact with our downtown merchants. You’ll discover the people, places, and events that built Vineland and made it great—as well as spend a good time with people who are making it great today.
For more information on Main Street Vineland, call 856-794-8653, visit or check them out on Facebook. You can also e-mail