Entry forms need to be returned to the Solvang Chamber by Sept. 17

Staff Report

The Santa Ynez Valley kicks off its 12th Annual Scarecrow Fest and contest on Friday, October 1. During the month-long Scarecrow Fest, which concludes on Halloween which is Sunday, Oct. 31, Solvang businesses and organizations will participate in the contest by featuring a scarecrow of their own creation posted at their location. The 2021 festival will follow all current COVID protocols, including the use of QR codes and a digital voting system, as opposed to what were traditionally paper maps and ballots.

Locals, tourists, and area merchants may vote on the contest’s website (www.SYVscarecrows.com), for Solvang scarecrow winners in six different categories: “Best Scarecrow Photo Opp”, “Best Use of Recycled Materials”, “Best Use of Business Theme”, “Most Danish”, “Spookiest”, and “Most Humorous”. Scarecrow Maps will also be available on the website, along with the corresponding QR codes.

Once this year’s “Best Solvang Scarecrow” has been chosen, the ultimate winner will be announced and celebrated virtually. The overall winner will receive the contest’s exclusive, handcrafted trophy – the “Harvest Cup” – made by famed blacksmith, Hans Duus, which they may keep on display in their place of business until the conclusion of the following year’s contest.

Succulent Café Wine Charcuterie, in Solvang was awarded the 2020 Harvest Cup.

“This is the 12th year that the [Scarecrow] contest is being celebrated in Solvang, and the other Santa Ynez Valley towns have definitely embraced the ‘Fest’. The more that each town gets into this, the better the experience for both our locals and visitors, whose community involvement and visits, respectively, benefit the local economy of the entire Valley,” said Tracy Beard, Executive Director of the Solvang Chamber of Commerce. Beard is heading up the 2021 Solvang Scarecrow Fest organization while continuing to maintain a safe and healthy environment for all to enjoy during this time.

The six different Solvang Scarecrow Fest 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, with visitors coming from as far away as Alaska.

Businesses and organizations throughout Solvang are invited to participate in the Scarecrow Fest and Contestparticipation in the contest is $25. Entry forms for the 2021 Solvang Scarecrow Fest need to be returned to the Solvang Chamber by FridaySept. 17, in order for participating scarecrows to be included on the map.

Questions about the 2021 Solvang Scarecrow Fest plans may be directed to the Solvang Chamber at Taryn@solvangchamber.com. The Chamber can also provide prospective participants with further contest details, participant entry forms, and “Scarecrow Tips & Tricks”. Updated information about this year’s Solvang Scarecrow Fest will continue to be posted at www.SYVscarecrows.com.