Shannon Maute is not a middle-of-the-road kind of person.
To the contrary, she readily admits that her thought process is all or nothing.
What’s this got to do with the upcoming Business Improvement District’s annual Wine Walk? Everything. Maute, BID executive director, had already scheduled a scarecrow contest to align with the wine walk for ample decorations along downtown streets. Then someone asked Maute about pink pumpkins. Would it be possible to also dot the landscape with pink pumpkins for Breast Cancer Awareness Month?
“I’m usually like, go big or go home. I'm either doing nothing, or I'm doing way too much at once. So I decided that fall is pretty fantastic, so we needed to do a lot of stuff in the fall,’ she said Wednesday. “We were planning our scarecrows, and I had a neighbor of mine reach out to me, and she asked if she could do a pumpkin that had to do with breast cancer. And I said, of course, and she said, do you think that maybe downtown wanted to participate and do something for it? And I said, if you do a scarecrow that has to do with breast cancer awareness, I will paint downtown pink with pumpkins.”
And so you now have wine, scarecrows and pink pumpkin activities downtown, with the grand kick-off being the walk from 4 to 8 p.m. (VIPs) and 5 to 8 p.m. (general) Oct. 1.
Much of the fun leading up the Dead Celebrity-themed wine tasting has already begun with the scarecrow contest. Entries are due Friday, and individuals, families, organizations and businesses may participate. Rumor has it that Jackson Primary School will be pitching a scarecrow, and Maute said it would be great to get other schools involved.
The entry fee is $20, and registration can be made online at downtownbataviany.com, emailed to [email protected], our mailed to the BID office at 200 East Main St., Suite 12, Batavia, NY, 14020. For more information, call (585) 344-0900.
Participants can pick up scarecrow supplies from 9 a.m. to noon this Saturday in Jackson Square. Supplies include wooden posts, straw and twine for the beginnings of your scarecrow. They may be put up the week of Sept. 25, and no later than Oct 1. They can remain up until Nov. 4.
Cash prizes will be given to first, second and third-place winners. Your creations will be prominently displayed for shoppers, visitors, and especially by Wine Walk attendees on Oct. 1. The public will be asked to vote for the Best Scarecrow and Most Creative HERE.
Participants are welcome to go all-out pink with Maute when she hosts paint night from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at Lambert Park on Verona Avenue, Batavia. Mele Garlic Farms of Holley has generously donated 30 pumpkins to the cause, she said. Painting supplies will be provided, however, nothing, especially more paint, will be turned away.
“This will be a fun event where people can get together, show their creativity and bring awareness to our amazing downtown,” Maute said. “Any donations of pink paints are welcomed and appreciated.”
Not only has the pink pumpkin task put another angle on decorations, but it has motivated Maute to learn more about the topic, she said.
“I just started reading a lot about that, and knowing how breast cancer and just cancer, in general, affects pretty much everybody, I thought that would be a great way to bring the community together and do something fun, and make downtown look fantastic,” she said. “By October 1, I will have them all decorated downtown. So when everyone comes out for the wine walk, or who's driving down Main Street, they'll see all the pink, and the awareness will be spread for breast cancer.”
The finale, so to speak, is when several hundred dead celebrities gather to sample 24 wines and ciders at tasting stations throughout downtown. Glass Roots on Center Street will be hosting a Sober Station for designated drivers with pizza and other non-alcoholic refreshments.
This event is nearly sold out, but you can check with Maute to find out if any are available for purchase. For more information about any of these events, go to downtownbataviany.com, email [email protected], or call (585) 344-0900.
Top Photo: BID Executive Director Shannon Maute shows a pumpkin that she decorated for Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Photo by Joanne Beck. File Photos of past scarecrow entries and the 2021 Wine Walk.