Celebrate autumn in downtown Madison with decorative scarecrows and classic cars.
    The city’s Scarecrow Festival is Oct. 12, 6-8 p.m., followed by the Scarecrow Cruise & Car Show on Oct. 20-21.  Both are set on the Main Street grounds surrounding Madison Square Center for the Arts.

The sixth annual Scarecrow Festival brings music, games, and plenty of fall fun to downtown. Sponsors are BankPlus, Neel-Schaffer, Pepsi, Walmart and Collins, Barr & Hembree Ltd.

“It’s a great outdoor family fun fest for kids and people of all ages,” said Nathan Hanson, the city’s parks and recreation director said.

Children can ride horses, go on hay rides, scramble through a hay bale obstacle course, slide down inflatables and win delicious treats at the cake walk. Adults can bring their chairs to listen to Honeyboy and Boots, a husband-wife guitar and cello duo. Other activities for the kids include a rock wall, trackless trains, face painting and more.

Local businesses will compete for the honor of having the best scarecrow. Festival-goers can admire all the scarecrows lined up in tents on Main Street and then vote on their favorites. Winners will be announced from the stage that evening.

Showcasing their scarecrows will be Leap Frog, Madison County Junior Auxiliary, Madison County Junior Auxiliary Crown Club, Madison Garden Center, Germantown Family Chiropractic, Gracie Jiu-Jitsu Madison, Madison Healthplex Performance Center, McAlister's Deli, Strawberry Café, Belhaven University, Burn Bootcamp and Chick-fil-A.

Prize-winning wooden pumpkins decorated by children at Madison Avenue Elementary, Madison Avenue Upper Elementary, Madison Station Elementary, Madison-Ridgeland Academy, St. Anthony Catholic School, First Baptist Preschool and Madison Preschool will also be recognized from the stage.

Chick-fil-A and Strawberry Café will have food for sale during the festival. The city will provide free drinks.

A section of Main Street will be closed for the Scarecrow Festival. Beginning at 10 a.m. on Oct 12, the street from just east of West Hoy Road by the railroad track to the entry to First Baptist Church daycare will close. No businesses or churches will be affected by the closing. The road will reopen to through traffic late that night.

The 14th annual Scarecrow Cruise & Car Show, a project of Mississippi Classic Cruisers and hosted by the City of Madison, will be Oct. 20-21 on the grounds of Madison Square Center for the Arts. More than 500 cars, from old-time classics to those fresh off the showroom floor, will be on display for the thousands of spectators expected.

The car show opens to the public Saturday, Oct. 21, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. There is no charge to attend. Car owners can register online at msclassiccruisers.com and at the arts center Oct 20 and Oct. 21, beginning at 8 a.m. each day. This show is an open show, which means any vehicle can register.

“There’s plenty to see and it’s just a lot of fun for everyone to attend,” said Mike Martin of Mississippi Classic Cruisers.

On Oct. 20, the car club expects about 75 cars to take part in the Cruisin’ 4 Cash for a chance at prizes worth more than $3,000. To participate, drivers need to register for the cruise and the show before stopping at 16 participating locations from County Line Road to Canton.

From 5-8 p.m. that Friday, there will be music and food at the show stage at the corner of Main Street and Highway 51.  The event is open to the public free of charge. “We’re trying to create a lot of enjoyment with all this for the car people and the public,” said car club member Billy Kilgore.

To get the show revved up on Oct. 21, about 80-100 cars are expected to join a caravan at 8:30 a.m. cruising from Reunion to the arts center grounds. Martin said good watching spots for the cruise-in are along Main Street from Madison United Methodist Church to the arts center. “It’s pretty neat to see them all lined up and entering the grounds,” he said.

During the Saturday event, racecars and personal cars of Rick Hendrick of Hendrick Motorsports also will be on view. A variety of foods will be for sale on the grounds.

The section of Main Street between First Baptist Church daycare and just east of West Hoy Road by the railroad track will be closed to through traffic 9 a.m Oct. 20 until 4:30 p.m. Oct. 21 for the car show.