CAMILLA — Once again, Camilla has some odd citizenry hanging out downtown.

For a week now, everywhere you look, there are scarecrows. Forty-five of them in all.

“They’ve been on display since the 17th,” Eric Brooks, director of Camilla’s Main Street program, said Friday. “On the 27th, we’ll have our City Stroll.”

This is the second year that Camilla has hosted the City Stroll and the scarecrow contest displays, which were created by families, community groups, churches, schools and businesses.

“They were good last year,” Brooks said of the scarecrows that line Broad and Scott streets, “but they’re more elaborate this year. Some of them (the scarecrows’ makers) really outdid themselves.”

Participating downtown Camilla businesses and restaurants will be open 4 p.m.-7 p.m. Thursday for the City Stroll.

Judges were checking out the straw men and women Friday to determine category winners. Those winner will be announced the afternoon of the City Stroll. The folks who visit the participating downtown Camilla merchants and eateries Thursday evening will determine by ballots — only available during the three-hour event — the People’s Choice Award winner.

“They’ll (winners) be awarded that afternoon,” Brooks said. “And the next morning (Friday), we’ll announce the People’s Choice Award.”

Brooks said the event is designed to “promote our downtown area. … Our downtown merchants are excited about the event and are offering sales and special offers for shoppers that evening.

“This is a great family event and I want to encourage everyone to take the time to visit downtown Camilla, vote for their favorite scarecrow, get an early start on Christmas shopping, and have dinner.”

Brooks had to get a quick jump on the project after taking over as Main Street director at the end of September. But he had experience with the project last year through the local Chamber of Commerce. Jenny Bostick was the Main Street director during the inaugural event.

“I had helped Jenny with it,” he said. “I was familiar with it from last year.”

Brooks said the City Stroll and the scarecrows are popular in the community, and that he expects them to return next October.

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