Scarecrow Fest gets underway

Los Olivos business Honey Paper was awarded the 2015 Harvest Cup.

Contributed photo

The Santa Ynez Valley kicks off its annual Scarecrow Fest on Friday with the communities of Ballard, Buellton, Los Alamos, Los Olivos and Solvang participating. The contest runs through Nov. 7.

The Valley will boast nearly 200 scarecrows this year, and the public is invited to judge and vote for their favorites. The scarecrows, crafted by local businesses, individuals and organizations, will be showcased throughout the Valley. The winning scarecrows from each town will be eligible for the “2016 Harvest Cup: Best in the Valley” title and trophy. The winner will be announced at a ceremony Nov. 16 in Buellton. Los Olivos business Honey Paper was awarded the 2015 Harvest Cup.

Each of the five Santa Ynez Valley towns holds its own Scarecrow Fest and contest. The rules vary slightly from town to town, but all have the ultimate goal of appointing a “Best Scarecrow” in the quest for the Valleywide Harvest Cup trophy.

One new facet of the 2016 SYV Scarecrow Fest is the revived effort that the town of Los Alamos is putting forth for this year’s contest. Los Alamos’ Scarecrow Fest -- coordinated by Vanessa Price, tasting room manager at the Los Alamos outpost of Municipal Winemakers at The Alamo Motel -- will boast scarecrow entries this year from Municipal Winemakers and Shelter Social Club, Bell Street Farm, Bob's Well Bread Bakery, Pico at the Los Alamos General Store, Casa Dumetz Wines + Babi’s Beer Emporium, Bedford Winery, Full of Life Flatbread, Plenty on Bell, The C Gallery and the 1880 Union Hotel.

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Not to be outdone, the Solvang Scarecrow Fest will include more than 100 scarecrow entries this year, coordinated by Marisa Yott, while Los Olivos’ Scarecrow Fest, coordinated by Kelley Lucia, and Buellton’s Scarecrow Fest, put together by Kathy Vreeland, will contribute dozens of scarecrows.

The Valley’s first Scarecrow Fest was held in Solvang in 2010. 

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This report was compiled by Mary Ann Norbom. You can reach her at