Staff Report

The 2018 edition of the month-long Santa Ynez Valley (SYV) Scarecrow Fest and Contest has officially come to a close, wrapping up with a November 15 “Harvest Cup” trophy award ceremony during November’s Valley-wide Chamber of Commerce Mixer at the Solvang Festival Theater. The festival contest winners were announced at the November 15 event, and the “2018 Harvest Cup: Best in the Valley” title and trophy was handed over to this year’s contest winner, Solvang hotel and restaurant / bar, The Landsby and Mad & Vin, which will hold the trophy through the end of the 2019 Santa Ynez Valley Scarecrow Fest.

2018 Harvest Cup Winner – The Landsby and Mad & Vin.

The 2018 Scarecrow Fest – the sixth annual Valley-wide competition, sponsored in part by Visit Santa Ynez Valley – included the “SYV” communities of Ballard, Buellton, Los Alamos, Los Olivos, Santa Ynez and the town that started the original Scarecrow Fest, Solvang. During the festival, visitors and SYV locals were encouraged to play, stay and enjoy the scarecrow sights and many events which occurred throughout the month of Scarecrow Fest. The Valley boasted nearly 150 scarecrows this year, most of which were available for public viewing and voting to determine viewers’ favorites in the “field”.

The SYV Scarecrows, crafted by local businesses, organizations and individuals, were showcased across the Santa Ynez Valley in the three main communities of Solvang (including Ballard, plus a handful of scarecrows in Santa Ynez), Buellton and Los Olivos. The overall winning scarecrows from each town were eligible for the “2018 Harvest Cup: Best in the Valley” title and trophy, the winner of which was selected by an anonymous panel of Valley-wide judges.

The Valley’s first Scarecrow Fest was held in Solvang, in 2010. During this year’s Ninth Annual Solvang Scarecrow Fest, locals, tourists and area merchants voted for scarecrow winners in seven different categories, with about 90 scarecrows from which to choose. Solvang’s 2018 “Popular Vote” winners were: Best Photo Opportunity, TIE between Holiday Inn Express and ZFolio Gallery; Best Use of Recycled Materials, Wandering Dog Wine Bar; Best Use of Business Theme, Santa Ynez Valley Cottage Hospital; Most Danish, The Home Connection; Spookiest, The Landsby / Mad & Vin; Most Humorous, TIE between Coast Plumbing Solutions and The Stone Cow; and Best “Actual” Scarecrow (meaning, scarecrows made with more traditional materials), The Good Life. In addition to the seven category winners determined by public voting, anonymous judges awarded a “Best Scarecrow” title to an overall City of Solvang winner, The Landsby and Mad & Vin, which went on to compete for and win the “2018 Harvest Cup”.

In Los Olivos, about 20 businesses participated in the sixth annual Valley-wide Scarecrow Fest. The Los Olivos Scarecrow Fest saw visitors and residents voting on their favorite scarecrows with winners in the following categories: Best Los Olivos Scarecrow, Stolpman Vineyards; Most Humorous, Bien Nacido & Solomon Hills Estate Wines; Spookiest, Zinke Wine Co.; Best Business Theme, Stolpman Vineyards; Best Natural Materials, Honey Paper. The overall Los Olivos scarecrow winner – Stolpman Vineyards – represented the town in the quest for the “2018 Harvest Cup” trophy.

The Buellton Chamber of Commerce & Visitors Bureau sponsored this year’s annual Buellton Scarecrow Fest. Buellton’s scarecrows were judged by locals, tourists and merchants, as well as a panel of judges, with winners in the following categories: Windmill Nursery, Best Use of Natural Materials; Jim Vreeland Ford, Most Humorous; Zaca Center Preschool, Best Use of Business Theme; and Santa Ynez Valley Marriott, Spookiest. Buellton’s “Best Scarecrow” winner, Sideways Inn, represented the City in the Valley-wide contest.

More information about each year’s Santa Ynez Valley Scarecrow Fest will be available at (web site is currently under reconstruction) as well as on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram at and