Solvang Scarecrow Fest
Solvang’s 8th Annual “Scarecrow Fest”: October 1 – 31, 2017
Solvang welcomes harvest season in true fall style, as we kick off our 8th Annual Scarecrow Fest and Contest on Sunday, October 1, coinciding with Santa Barbara Wine Country’s “Celebration of Harvest” weekend event. During the month-long Scarecrow Fest, which concludes on Tuesday, October 31, Solvang businesses and organizations will participate in the contest by featuring a scarecrow of their own creation, posted at their location.
Locals, tourists and area merchants will vote via ballot boxes scattered about the City, for scarecrow winners in six (6) different categories: “Best Scarecrow Photo Op”, “Best Use of Recycled Materials”, “Best Use of Business Theme”, “Most Danish”, “Spookiest”, and “Most Humorous”. Ballots will be available at the Solvang Visitors Center (1639 Copenhagen Drive) and at select Solvang businesses, and will feature maps to direct voters to each of the contest’s scarecrows.
Once a “Best Solvang Scarecrow” winner has been chosen, it will be entered into the Santa Ynez Valley-wide competition with the winners from Buellton and Los Olivos, to determine the “Valley’s Best Scarecrow”. The ultimate winner will be announced at a mid-November ceremony in Buellton, where the Valley winner will receive the contest’s exclusive, handcrafted trophy, the “Harvest Cup”, to keep on display in their town until the conclusion of the following year’s contest.
Solvang’s own Home Connection was awarded the 2016 Harvest Cup due to the scarecrow craftsmanship of owners Thora Nielsen Andersen and Donna Andersen Ineman.
The six different voting categories mentioned above, were selected through a conscious effort to nurture friendly competition and community among Solvang locals, to highlight the unique traits that Solvang possesses, and to encourage mindful, eco-conscious creativity. Past years’ Scarecrow Fests have received far-reaching publicity, drawing increased visitor activity to Solvang. In 2013, to spread the proverbial wealth, the Scarecrow Fest was expanded to include the five additional Santa Ynez Valley towns: Ballard (now part of Solvang’s Scarecrow Fest), Buellton, Los Alamos, Los Olivos and Santa Ynez.
Solvang’s Scarecrow Fest was originally started as a way to drive business to each of the participating companies, storefronts, merchants and organizations, as well as to the town and the surrounding Santa Ynez Valley locales, in general. As added enticement for Solvang visitors, the Valley will play host to numerous and varied activities during the month-long Scarecrow Fest stretch. One such bonus is the October installment of Solvang 3rd Wednesday, on October 18, which will include the monthly Solvang 3rd Wednesday Wine & Beer Walk.
As Halloween nears, Solvang will also welcome guests to its 24th “Annual Haunted House” and this year’s associated “Halloween Street Fest”, which will thrill visitors with food, fun and spirits on Monday and Tuesday, October 30 and 31. The Haunted House and Street Fest will be held at/in front of the Solvang Festival Theater (420 2nd Street).
Questions about the 2017 Solvang Scarecrow Fest plans can be directed to Mike Chaput at: SYVScarecrow@gmail.com
Solvang merchants who wish to participate in this year’s Scarecrow Fest and Contest, please download and complete this form, and submit prior to September 25, 2017: Solvang Scarecrow Fest Entry Form
To view the 2016 Solvang winners for both the Judges’ and the Popular Vote, click here!