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Trick-or-treat time on Wren Court

by: Vern Uyetake, Audrey and Miranda Jones put finishing touches on their scarecrow, complete with a scarf made from maple leaves.

For trick-or-treaters, the quiet cul-de-sac of Wren Court may seem a bit ominous but the residents of the nine houses that line the half-circle would love for more youngsters to stop by on Halloween.

'We really hope for a lot this year, otherwise we're left with a big bag of candy that we have to eat ourselves,' said Jeri Jones, who has been in her home on the street for 28 years.

For the sixth straight year, the nine houses have held an annual neighborhood party where families gather to create unique scarecrows to display for the month of October.

On the first Sunday of October each year, Jones brings in a large load of hay from Wanker's Corner to stuff the creations.

Then the families gather for a big meal and to build their respective scarecrows for a tradition that lasts late into the evening.

Each family generally provides a unique dish to the festivities. Jones always adds her potato casserole while the Ovist family provides cherry pie.

In recent years, the families have tried to outdo each other by coming up with the most elaborate and creative scarecrow designs.

Diane Ovist, along with her sons Ian and Bryce, created a wizard this year, which stands in front of a large cauldron.

Two doors down is Annette Ross's creation, a pair of ornately dressed pirates, whose pumpkin heads are lit up.

'I usually keep (my scarecrow) pretty confidential. I don't want to give anything away,' Ross said.

In front of another house is a scarecrow resting against a basketball hoop, dunking his own head.

The McComish family's scarecrow sits comfortably on a bench, resting his broomstick peg leg. Joey and Matt McComish, who both attend Westridge Elementary School, help build the creations each year.

After the scarecrows are finally assembled it generally looks like a tornado has torn through the short street with hay, unused clothing and even a spare head that failed to make the cut, lying about.

'It's the men's job to clean up and they do it happily,' Jones said with a smile.

The annual scarecrow construction occurs rain-or-shine each year and has become the neighborhood's biggest event. In the summer, the residents of Wren Court generally throw a large barbecue as well.

'This is just such a nice way to start the fall,' Ross said.

The families in the cul-de-sac are close-knit and very friendly with each other and the event is especially popular with the kids in the area.

'It's a blast. It's great to see the whole neighborhood get involved,' Diane Ovist said.