What started out as a little idea has quickly grown!
In 2010, Sue Moualim of the Artistic Pony Studios, Ltd. and Susan Williams of Solvang Third Wednesday put their heads together to think of a great way to celebrate the Harvest and Autumn Season in Solvang. Naturally scarecrows seemed the logical step, and thus, Solvang Third Wednesday’s First Annual Scarecrow Fest began!
Sixty businesses joined in the fun and by October 2010, zany, quirky, sweet, traditional, Danish, spooky, crazy, and downright funny scarecrows were gracing window displays, sidewalks, and park benches as the Village of Solvang had a little celebration much to the delight of the locals and tourists who were there for those fall months.
The hearty competitive atmosphere between the businesses and the impression of those cooky scarecrows must have made a good one, because when the 2nd Annual Scarecrow Fest came around for 2011, over 80 businesses jumped on board and over 600 voter ballots were turned in by the population that had traveled to Solvang to have fun with our warm Harvest Season.
By 2012, the Solvang Third Wednesday Scarecrow Fest had grown to such proportions that over 100 businesses participated, over 1200 ballots were turned in, and Solvang Third Wednesday had to expand their scarecrow categories and introduced a panel of judges because there were just too many incredible scarecrows to go around!
Well, it’s 2013, and what started out as Solvang Third Wednesday’s Scarecrow Fest has now become the Santa Ynez Valley Scarecrowfest, expanding throught five towns so that the humorous and good-natured feeling of the scarecrows can be seen not only in Solvang, but also in Santa Ynez, Los Alamos, Los Olivos, and Buellton!
To view the latest PRESS RELEASE, click here!
The Santa Ynez Valley — sometimes called the “Disneyland for Adults” — encompasses a cozy landscape of unique Western towns (and one Northern European one), rolling hills, beautiful vineyards, and scenic drives.
Santa Ynez, the township that took its name from the Old Mission Santa Ines established way back when Spain still held onto California, is a town that still looks as if the year is 1860. Dedicated to preserving its rich history, most of the buildings are the original buildings (including a saloon!) which can only serve as an excellent backdrop for the scarecrows that will be lining up outside swinging doors and covered porches of Edison Street.
Los Alamos is the smallest of the five towns but it is definitely not lacking for character! A hub of artistic creativity mixing beautifully with the old-world Western feel, art galleries, antique shops, tasting rooms, and the old Union Hotel are nestled within the Cottonwoods the town is named for. With so many artistic souls on Main Street, no doubt the scarecrows there will be quite a sight.
Los Olivos is a little boom-town of vineyards, wineries, and wine tasting rooms. With much of its original structure and buildings still in place, it also shares the same Western feel like the other little towns and yet mixes in that flair of Wineaux Chic. This pocket of sunshine town may be only two blocks by two blocks, but Los Olivos loves to celebrate! No matter the festival, this town always does it up in Grande Avenue style — and so will their scarecrows!
Solvang, known as the Danish Capital of America, is not a place one can easily forget! Driving into Solvang is like driving straight into Denmark; the culture, the cuisine, the architecture all takes its heritage from the Danish families that settled here back in 1909 — and are still prominent in the city today! The scarecrows seem to like it here, as year after year more of them keep popping up between tasting rooms, novelty stores, clothing boutiques, warm bakeries, and interesting galleries all up and down Copenhagen Drive.
Buellton is quite a special place as it is the Gateway to Santa Ynez Valley as well as the Gateway to the Santa Rita Hills! It shares characteristics with Solvang as some of their buildings show clear Danish heritage as well as a whole slew of buildings that still keep their Old Western Charm. Boasting over seventeen restaurants, numerous hotels, and prime positioning with vineyards and playtime just a quick drive away, the Avenue of Flags will definitely be a place to cruise to witness the Scarecrows of Buellton!