BELGRADE — There was a first place tie for best scarecrow at the Belgrade Harvest Festival Scarecrow Contest, but fortunately the prize winnings didn’t have to be divided up, as the two winners were a brother and sister from Rome.

Adelle, 7, and Burke, 11, MacLeay shared the top prize, a bag of harvest-themed items, in the individual category in the contest which had scarecrows stationed around the village area, with voting done by attendees of the harvest festival throughout the day Saturday.

Burke’s winning entry was a soccer player he made out of his old soccer jersey and cleats and stuffed with paper towels and magazines.

Adelle said hers was a ghost in a princess dress with a balloon for a head.

They’d made their scarecrows the day before and attended the harvest festival in the village Saturday with their grandparents, Charlotte and Tom MacLeay, of Vermont.

Neither of the scarecrows the kids made are destined for a life in the field, literally scaring off crows from gardens.

“We’re going to keep them in the basement,” Burke said of their plans for the stuffed creations.

Valencia Schubert, president of the Belgrade Lakes Region Business Group, sponsor of the festival, and recreation director, said the scarecrow contest is in its second year and is growing with more entries and more voters this year.

“We had a lot of people voting, we were very busy, it was a great day,” Schubert said of the festival which featured numerous events in the village area, including horse drawn wagon rides, fall foods for sale and sampling at numerous spots, fall-themed photos, live music, a wine tasting at Day’s Store, art displays and other activities.

At The Village Inn, Devhan Ring, of Newport, Rhode Island, who was staying at the house of boyfriend Ryan Sweeney’s family in Belgrade Lakes, displayed impressive strength and stamina in the beer stein hoisting contest, easily posting the longest time of the day — at least as of 3 p.m. — of any woman or man who competed.

The contest, explained Mickey Bechard, of Hallowell, who works at Pine State Trading and ran the Sam Adams-sponsored contest at The Village Inn Saturday, is a test of strength. Contestants hold out a large stein of water, which he said weighs around five pounds, with their arm straight out for as long as they can without lowering it or spilling any water.

Why water in a beer stein?

“You don’t want to waste beer,” Bechard said.

As the other five contestants in her round dropped out one by one, none making it over four minutes, Ring, leaning back for leverage, kept going as friends urged her on. She joked, while still holding the heavy mug, it wasn’t as hard as other, more important challenges in life.

“I’m completely fine,” she said. “I’ve given birth.”

The best woman’s time before Ring was just over three minutes.

Ring said she could have gone longer than her roughly nine-minute time, which nearly doubled the time of her boyfriend Ryan.

“I can’t believe she beat me,” he said. He said his 61-year-old dad also topped his time, but noted he beat his brother.

Across the street, Sam Wells, his nephew Ellis Wells and other family members served up free slices of pizza from Sam Wells’ wood-fired French clay pizza oven on wheels made by Skowhegan-based Maine Wood Heat.

Sam Wells said he plans to open a business selling pizzas, bread and other items he’ll bake in the oven next summer at 168 Main, which is both the business’ name and address, at a former bed and breakfast perched between Main Street and Long Pond.

The pizzas cook in about two minutes in the 800- to 900-degree oven. Wells said he plans to use Maine-grown wheat and Maine-milled flour and as many local ingredients as possible in his pizzas and breads.

“I’m one of these ‘all about local’ types of people,” said Wells, who splits his time between Belgrade and Manhattan. “I wanted to do something food-related. I’m trying to be considerate of what my neighbors are doing and do something different, not compete with the other businesses in the village.”

Saturday, it was a village populated by both strolling pedestrians and unmoving scarecrows.

A scarecrow made by youths in the after-school program at the Belgrade Community Center for All Seasons, a tall scarecrow with a pumpkin for a head with a smaller scarecrow on its shoulders with a ball for a head leaning up next to the road, won the youth category in the contest.

Participants were asked to make their scarecrows fun, not scary.

Keith Edwards — 621-5647

[email protected]

Twitter: @kedwardskj

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