The Coast News Group
Scraecrow decoration contest
First place residential winner “Robert” of the 2nd annual Scarecrow decorating contest hosted by MainStreet Oceanside and Oceanside Coastal Neighborhood Association and the Friends of Oceanside Dia de los Muertos. Courtesy photo
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Winners announced in Oceanside’s fall decorating contest

OCEANSIDE — Throughout October, residents and businesses across town decked out their front yards and store windows to ring in the fall season.

MainStreet Oceanside, together with the Oceanside Coastal Neighborhood Association (OCNA) and the Friends of Oceanside Dia de los Muertos (FOODDLM), held its Second Annual Scarecrow and the first Dia de los Muertos decorating contests last month. The goal of the two contests was to bring a “fun festive” activity to the homes of residents and businesses as social distancing guidelines remain in place.

The contest entries were judged on four major criteria including originality, expressiveness, costume design and environmental context. Participants could choose their own themes for their decorations.

Oceanside High School student Ginger Johnson was a Scarecrow contest judge who took photos of the various scarecrows posted around the city. According to Johnson, “it was a gratifying experience photographing the scarecrows contest and many of them deserve to win the bragging rights for 2020.”

This year would have been the 20th anniversary of the Dia de los Muertos Festival in Oceanside, but unfortunately, the COVID-19 pandemic forced organizers to cancel the event.

“We were very excited to partner with MainStreet Oceanside and do a Dia de los Muertos decorating contest this year, especially since we were unable to have our festival downtown due to the pandemic,” said FOODDLM Board President Cathy Nykiel in a statement.

Claudia Troisi, an OCNA board member, noted the organization’s excitement over an increase in participation in the decorating contest from last year.

“Thanks to MainStreet for participating with us this year along with the Oceanside Museum of Art and Oceanside High School,” Troisi stated.

Scarecrow decorating contest business winners include Coastal Music Studios in first place followed by The Miller’s Table in second and Breakwater Community Church in third.

The Dia de los Muertos decorating contest business winners placed Gypsy Soul Dreaming in first, The Miller’s Table in second again and Fat Joe’s in third.

All the photos from the decorating contests can be found on