No politics at Pullen: Raleigh removes ‘Dump Trump’ scarecrow from city park

A scare with a “Dump Trump” shirt at Pullen Park.
A scare with a “Dump Trump” shirt at Pullen Park. Submitted

The city of Raleigh has removed a scarecrow with a political T-shirt after a weekend complaint.

The offending scarecrow had a white shirt with the words “Dump Trump” scrawled on it as part of the city’s Sept. 28 scarecrow festival at Pullen Park.

Angie Chevallier received a photo of the scarecrow from her daughter, who was visiting the park with her family.

“She sent me a picture of a scarecrow, which we feel is politically divisive, and shouldn’t be part of any public display at a park for children,” Chevallier said in an email to The News & Observer.

Pullen Park staff was notified about the scarecrow on Saturday and removed it after “hearing from the patron,” according to Cara McLeod, a city spokeswoman.

“We are looking into rules for future scarecrow festivals,” she said.

The city doesn’t vet the scarecrows in advance but “we do try to be conscious of offensive material,” McLeod said.

“We try to be respectful of a guest’s desire to participate and express themselves,” she said. “We also do not endorse or encourage any particular political views.”

She also sent a link to the city’s website describing the scarecrow festival, which invited people to create a scarecrow that would be on display at the park. She has not responded to a follow-up question confirming the scarecrow had been at the park since Sept. 28.

“All you will need to bring is the clothes, accessories and a head that makes your scarecrow unique,” according to the city’s website. “Use old raggedy clothes for a classic look, put them in a spooky Halloween costume, or dress them up to look like a favorite movie character! This is a free event for all ages and works best with a group of people working as a team.”

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Anna Johnson covers Raleigh and Wake County for the News & Observer. She has previously covered city government, crime and business for newspapers across North Carolina and received many North Carolina Press Association awards, including first place for investigative reporting. She is a 2012 alumna of Elon University.
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