A POPULAR fundraising festival could be in danger after organisers have received too few entries.

Kearsley Scarecrow Festival is in its fifth year and sees residents transform the town with weird, wacky and wonderful mannequins.

However, Tracey Wilkinson, who helps to organise the event, says only around 60 people have signed up this year, which marks a significant drop on the numbers usually involved.

She has called on homeowners to get into the spirit and enter the festival, which has previously always involved displays in more than 100 homes. If the number of entrants does not increase the event could be in danger of cancellation in future years. The festival involves homeowners displaying their creative scarecrows in the front garden for others to see as they follow a set path around the town.

“Feasibly every year it needs to be over 100 entries and because it’s such a big area we’re worried people will be walking for ages to see the next scarecrow,” Ms Wilkinson said.

“People always love it. They say they’ve had a great time over the weekend and those are the people we need to actually come and get involved.

“Now is the perfect time of year because they can be making the scarecrows while the kids are off to help.

“It’s not about having the best scarecrow or the worst it’s just about getting involved and being a part of the community.”

Each entrant pays £5 to be involved in the festival and the money raised is used to fund a range of other community projects throughout the year.

Ms Wilkinson added: “All the money we raise goes back into the community, it’s used on things like defibrillators, benches and the flowers for Kearsley Flower Festival.”

This year’s festival will be judged by a panel of three people to be revealed in the run up to the event.

The first of the decision-makers has been revealed to be 11-year-old soap star Erin Palmer.

The youngster has played the character Ella Richardson in Hollyoaks for nearly three years but will now turn her hand to judging the best scarecrow competition.

Last year’s award was given to the Pope family, who were praised for their magical recreation of CS Lewis’ The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe in front of their home in Tanfield Drive.

Anyone who wants to get involved in the festival on September 21 and 22 should register to take part as soon as possible.

Submission forms can be found at the event’s Facebook page: https://bit.ly/2KTdVFJ. Alternatively, you can email kearsleyscarecrowfestival@hotmail.com.