The Spooky-Sweet Scarecrows of Solvang

Call upon the Santa Ynez Valley during October and you may spy fantastical fall figures, hither and yon.


QUESTION, of the quirkiest sort: Are there more people in California or more scarecrows? The answer, of course, is very much A), but you do have to stop and (whimsically) wonder when October toodles into view. For a number of towns and villages give their storefronts and street corners and restaurant patios over to hay-filled, button-eyed, wackily attired figures, the sort of figures that are more often seen in the decoration aisles of stores come the fall. But scarecrows take to the public spaces in Cambria, and Big Bear Village, and throughout the Santa Ynez Valley when October arrives. And with October on the haunted horizon, you can bet that...

SOLVANG... and Los Olivos and Los Alamos and Buellton and other towns of the grape-glorious region will be full of the comical, seasonal decorations. There are scarecrows all over during the annual Solvang Scarecrow Fest, in fact, but they're not just adding to the October atmosphere, though that is a big part of it; there's also a chance to pick your favorite scarecrows in six different categories: Photo Op, Recycled Materials, Business Theme, Most Danish, Spookiest, and Humor. How to lend your scarecrowian expertise to the month-long event, which dots the area, delightfully, for all of October?

THERE SHALL BE BALLOT BOXES, so keep an eye out for places to leave your votes. The Harvest Cup will go to "the ultimate winner" later in November, and the winner will be able to display that trophy for the following year. It's in very good spirits, with plenty of local pride woven in, so if you're going to the SYV for a wine-tasting day, or an autumn lunch, be sure to view some or all of the sweet, funky, and maybe slightly scare scarecrows before you go. 

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