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Scarecrow Festival Underway In Santa Ynez Valley

The 5th Annual Scarecrow Fest started in the Santa Ynez Valley Oct. 10, and now the entire valley is decorated for the harvest season.

Scarecrows of all shapes, sizes, and materials are lining the streets of the small towns, and the businesses have put pride into their creations.

Susan Williams, contest organizer, said, “It’s really brought a lot of community spirit to Solvang and a lot of competitiveness, because people want to have the best scarecrow. So it’s really been a lot of fun.”

Now in its fifth year, the contest has more than tripled its participants.

“We actually got 50 scarecrows for our first year, and its just blossomed ever since,” explained contest organizer Sue Moualim.

The contest is not only about the wacky creations, but to bring more people to the valley during tourism down time.

Moulaim said, “We don’t get a lot of visitors in the fall and the scarecrows are a way to get you to come around and actually go to places you wouldn’t have gone to before.”

The shops entered in the competition said it’s a great reflection of the community atmosphere.

Business owner Jessy Osehan said, “It really makes Solvang the small town that it is, and part of what it does well I think is that it allows businesses to come together.”

The Santa Ynez Valley Scarecrow Fest has a total of 118 entries, and visitors are encouraged to vote for their favorite in categories like spookiest, best use of recycled materials and best Danish.

“People just really bring out their creativity and just do something way over the top, so every year there are some very very amazing scarecrows,” said Williams.

The winners in each category will receive a certificate, a ribbon and most important bragging rights and the scarecrows help to get everyone in the spirit of fall.

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