So here we were driving along outside Cheticamp, glancing back once in awhile to say good-bye to the mountains in the distance when out of the blue, we see scarecrows. Lots of them. They were hilarious! We actually had to turn around because they demanded our attention.
The place was Joe’s Scarecrows just 10 minutes outside Cheticamp in a community called St-Joseph-du-Moine. Here you can meet members of the royal family, political figures, music stars etc They all are dressed up with a caption written on a piece of cardboard that introduces who they are and their name.
There is a table with a donation box set up so you could help the owners dress for next year. Nearby you can buy a burger, fish & chips, meat pies, ice-cream and home made pastries.
Joe Delaney originated Joe’s Scarecrows.Mr. Delaney, who passed away in 1996, enjoyed a good laugh. The story of how it all began was back in the mid 1980’s when Mr. Delaney put up scarecrows to keep crows from eating vegetables in his garden. Joe, being a huge fan of Mi-Carême , put up two scarecrows dressed in funny costumes and masks. Right away, this created a road-side attraction that just kept getting bigger. I imagine the idea of having a garden was scrapped because I didn’t notice a garden (then gain, I was distracted).
Mi-Carême literally means the middle of Lent; the third Thursday of the forty days of fasting and penance before Easter. This day was reserved to give everyone the opportunity to celebrate and escape their Lenten duties. Brought to North America by French settlers, la Mi-Carême has survived in only four Canadian villages. For over 200 years, this celebration has been kept so strong in the Chéticamp, St-Joseph-du-Moine and Margaree region that instead of one day, people of this area have made it last a whole week.
Today, his family carry on the tradition of dressing up the scarecrows for the thousands of visitors every year who stumble upon the attraction.
Information on Joe Delaney
See more pictures from Joe’s Scarecrows on The Right Coast NS’s Flickr web album
Map location of St-Joseph-du-Moine