Rutledge transforms for fall

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By Tia Lynn Lecorchick

Rutledge is gearing up for a jam-packed month of fall events in October this year. The Rutledge Beautification Committee, the Rutledge Rec Department, Gardening Club, Merchants’ Association, and other community members have teamed up to ensure this season is properly enjoyed all throughout town. The downtown of Rutledge will be decorated with pumpkins, hay bales and Chrysanthemum flowers, traditional fall flowers. “We all work together and we are hosting a lot of events,” said Molly Lesnikowski, president of the beautification committee. “It’s beautiful weather and our area lends itself to outdoor activities: golfing, shopping, antiquing, and good restaurants. It’s a cute little town to visit, but we actually just love our town and we would do this even if nobody came. We enjoy celebrating our lives in Rutledge.” October kicks off with the Annual Scarecrow Contest, beginning Oct. 1 and runs through the Oct. 15 Locals create, design and decorate their own scarecrows, displaying them all over town. The scarecrows will be judged at the end of the month during Rutledge’s annual Spooky Fall Fest on Oct. 25. The winner will receive a cash price of $50 dollars. Malcom Gillis at GPC Computers in downtown Rutledge makes armatures, an ideal wooden structure to build a scarecrow. “It’s really helpful and a good investment if you want to participate each year,” said Lesnikowski. More information about the Scarecrow Contest is available at the Caboose in Rutledge. The Annual Fall Rutledge Yard Sale will be held at Rutledge City Park on Saturday, Oct. 11, from 9 am to 5 pm. To set up a booth is $10 and renting a table is also $10 dollars. The money from the yard sale will be used to fund the Rutledge Rec Department programs, including fall decorations for Rutledge. To sign up for the yard sale, you can call the Caboose, a local restaurant, at 706-557-9021. “We usually have a great turn out, usually about 50 booths each year. It’s a great sale and it’s for a good cause,” said Molly Lesnikowski, president of the beautification committee. Rutledge itself as a town will be featured on the annual Conservancy Ramble, a tour of Morgan County, conducted by the Madison-Morgan Conservancy, set to take place on Saturday, Oct. 18. Two fall events are scheduled for Oct 25 in Rutledge. The first is the Trick-Or-Trot 5K Road Race at 8:30 am that will benefit the Morgan County Elementary School. All funds will be used for technology enrichment. Participating runners can dress up in costumes for the races. But the major culminating event of the season will be the Spook Fall Fest on Oct. 25, starting at 6 pm. The event will include the wildly-popular haunted hay ride, Jack-O-Lanterns, a costume contest, a bounce house, and a trunk-or-treat station of vehicles with candy in the trunks for trick-or-treaters. Money from the hay rides and concession stands will be donated to the Morgan County High School Softball Booster Club to benefit the softball team. According to Lesnikowski, between 500 and 700 people usually attend the Spooky Fall Festival. “The Fall Festival is one of the major things Rutledge does each year,” said Lesnikowski. “We usually judge over 100 costumes. It’s just a fun time to let go and carry on for a while.”

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