Santa Maria Sun / Art
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [santamariasun.com] - Volume 13, Issue 30
Solvang gets scaryScarecrows take over the city during the third annual Scarecrow Fest and Fall Frolic
BY SHELLY CONE
Standing in front of businesses, sitting on benches, perched on the sidewalk, scarecrows will soon take over Solvang, acting as ambassadors of the fall season and giving the city a festive atmosphere.
The Scarecrow Festival and Fall Frolic takes place throughout the Solvang downtown area and the greater Santa Ynez Valley. Merchants are encouraged to create scarecrows for their storefronts and visitors are welcome to grab a scarecrow map and voting ballot and find the scarecrows and vote for their favorites.
The event is part of Solvang’s Third Wednesday series. Susan Williams, Solvang Third Wednesday coordinator, said the event has been successful in getting people involved.
It started when Sue Moualin, who is now the executive director of the Solvang Chamber of Commerce, approached Williams and suggested the idea.
“She was really the creative genius behind it; from there it really took off,” Williams said.
She said the scarecrow contest not only encourages businesses to create some interesting and fun scarecrows, but it also makes for some great fall décor around the city.
“It makes the town look festive and lively, and all the business owners have really embraced it,” Williams said.
The public can judge the scarecrows in six categories, including Most Danish, Best Use of Recycled Materials, Most Humorous, Best Action Scarecrow, Best Traditional, and Spookiest. In addition to the six category winners determined by public voting, a panel of anonymous judges will give awards to the Best Scarecrow in seven different geographic areas in the city of Solvang and then determine the Best Overall Scarecrow winner.
Williams said the business owners put a lot of effort in presenting the scarecrows. Some reflect the theme of the business, some are spooky, and last year there were a number of Danish scarecrows in honor of the city’s centennial.
The event has increasingly drawn visitors specifically for the scarecrows. Last year, Third Wednesday distributed 10,000 ballots for voting.
“It’s been really good for the town. People come in and want to see every single scarecrow and you see them mark them off on the map,” Williams said.
On Oct. 17, visitors have the chance to participate in a carved and decorated pumpkin class sponsored by the Solvang Parks and Recreation Department, followed by the chance to show off their talent in a carved and decorated pumpkin contest. An artifact display with paleontologist Rex Saint Onge will give visitors a look at artifacts that are millions of years old. A block party featuring live music by Glass Half Full and a pumpkin display will round out the night.
At block parties Arts Editor Shelly Cone likes to think of the red Solo cup half full. She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org