Saturday, October 24, 2020     Volume: 21, Issue: 34
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Santa Maria Sun / Art

The following article was posted on September 23rd, 2020, in the Santa Maria Sun - Volume 21, Issue 30 [ Submit a Story ]
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [santamariasun.com] - Volume 21, Issue 30

Santa Ynez Valley businesses celebrate 11th annual Scarecrow Fest throughout October

By CALEB WISEBLOOD

Halloween is nigh and anticipation is high for the 11th annual Santa Ynez Valley Scarecrow Fest, a month-long scarecrow display competition scheduled to kick off on Thursday, Oct. 1. Participating businesses and organizations throughout Solvang, Ballard, Buellton, and Los Olivos will compete for the coveted title of Valley’s Best Scarecrow, immortalized by the Harvest Cup, a handcrafted trophy passed down from winner to winner each year.


This is Halloween
Be on the lookout for participating scarecrows outside business storefronts through Saturday, Oct. 31. Find out more about the 11th annual Santa Ynez Valley Scarecrow Fest at syvscarecrows.com.

ICE SCREAM
“I love seeing the creativity and motivation that store owners have when they start to display their scarecrows, come Oct. 1,” said Tracy Beard, organizer of this year’s Santa Ynez Valley Scarecrow Fest. This Good Humor-themed scene was on display in 2017.
PHOTO COURTESY OF THE SANTA YNEZ VALLEY SCARECROW FEST

“The trophy—and Best Scarecrow title—has traveled back and forth over the years, from Solvang, to Los Olivos, and to Buellton, where it currently resides,” said Tracy Beard, executive director of the Solvang Chamber of Commerce. “Each year, the businesses find joy in going above and beyond to top their last year’s scarecrow. 

“These business owners really want to make this experience enjoyable year after year for locals and to keep tourists coming back,” Beard added.


WEIRD SCIENCE
Participating Santa Ynez Valley businesses and organizations throughout Solvang, Ballard, Buellton, and Los Olivos will compete for the coveted title of Valley’s Best Scarecrow during this year’s Scarecrow Fest. This mad scientist of the “Spookeasy” at Solvang’s The Landsby and Mad & Vin won the top honors in 2018.
PHOTO COURTESY OF THE SANTA YNEZ VALLEY SCARECROW FEST

Last year, the Santa Ynez Valley Marriott in Buellton was awarded the Harvest Cup, which it gets to keep until this year’s winner is announced after voting closes (sometime after Saturday, Oct. 31). Whether you’re local or just visiting, everyone is welcome to vote for their favorite scarecrow displays via the festival’s website (syvscarecrows.com), rather than in-person. 


TOUCHDOWN
This sporty scarecrow made an appearance at last year’s festival. This year, the 11th annual Santa Ynez Valley Scarecrow Fest, a month-long scarecrow display competition, is scheduled to kick off on Thursday, Oct. 1. Scarecrows will remain on display on storefronts through Halloween.
PHOTO COURTESY OF THE SANTA YNEZ VALLEY SCARECROW FEST

As the contest will observe COVID-19 safety guidelines this year, the winning businesses will be celebrated virtually, in lieu of the contest’s traditional awards ceremony. Aside from the valley-wide grand prize, participating Solvang businesses will also be honored in six other categories: Best Scarecrow Photo Op, Best Use of Recycled Materials, Best Use of Business Theme, Spookiest, Most Humorous, and Most Danish.

“Being in Solvang, I find Most Danish to be my favorite category. I find that being a Danish-rooted community, many of those who base their theme around this category truly try to bring out the Danish heritage with bright colors—red, blue, yellow,” Beard said. “This scarecrow category really brings out what our community is truly about.”


SMALL-TOWN CHARM
One of Tracy Beard’s favorite parts of the competition each year is getting to see members of the community “really embrace the fall season.” Beard described the Fest as having “the small hometown feeling of something you might find in the Midwest.” Pictured, Home Connection’s entry was voted Best Scarecrow in 2016.
PHOTO COURTESY OF THE SANTA YNEZ VALLEY SCARECROW FEST

The Scarecrow Fest originated as a citywide event in Solvang, but this year marks the festival’s eighth as a valley-wide competition, Beard explained in press materials from the Solvang Chamber of Commerce.

“The other Santa Ynez Valley towns have definitely embraced the Fest. The more that each town gets into this, the better the experience for both our locals and visitors—whose community involvement and visits, respectively, benefit the local economy of the entire valley,” Beard said in a statement.

This year also marks Beard’s fifth year working with the Scarecrow Fest. One of Beard’s favorite parts of the competition each year is getting to see members of the community “really embrace the fall season.”

“It has the small hometown feeling of something you might find in the Midwest,” Beard told the Sun. “I love seeing the creativity and motivation that store owners have when they start to display their scarecrows, come Oct. 1. 

“You can really tell that they put a lot of time and effort into making their scarecrows worth a visit to our town, whether you live far or near,” Beard added. “Every scarecrow has its own wow factor.” 

Arts Editor Caleb Wiseblood wants a pumpkin spice latte. Spice up his life at cwiseblood@santamariasun.com.









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