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The Santa Ynez Valley has kicked off the Annual Santa Ynez Valley (SYV) Scarecrow Fest and Contest starting on Friday, October 7, and will run until November 7, with people encouraged to vote for their favorite entries. This year’s Scarecrow Fest is sponsored in part by Visit Santa Ynez Valley, and include the “SYV” communities of Ballard, Buellton, Los Alamos, Los Olivos and Solvang.
The Valley will boast nearly 200 scarecrows this year, on which the public is invited to judge and vote for their favorites in the “field”. The SYV Scarecrows, crafted by local businesses, individuals and organizations, will be showcased throughout the and the winning scarecrows from each town will be eligible for the “2016 Harvest Cup: Best in the Valley” title and trophy, the winner of which will be announced at a November 16 ceremony in Buellton. Los Olivos business, Honey Paper, was awarded the 2015 Harvest Cup due to their mastery of scarecrow crafting.
Each of the Santa Ynez Valley towns holds their own, individual Scarecrow Fest and associated Contest; the rules vary slightly from town to town, but all have the ultimate goal of appointing a “Best Scarecrow” to represent each respective town in the quest for the Valley-wide Harvest Cup trophy.
One new facet of the 2016 SYV Scarecrow Fest, is the revived effort that the SYV 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 the likes of Municipal Winemakers and Shelter Social Club (owners of The Alamo Motel), 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.
Not to be outdone, the Solvang Scarecrow Fest will include more than 100 scarecrow entries this year, all coordinated by Marisa Yott of Social Buzz SYV, while Los Olivos’ Scarecrow Fest, coordinated by Kelley Lucia, and Buellton’s Scarecrow Fest, put together by Kathy Vreeland, Executive Director of the Buellton Visitors Bureau and Chamber of Commerce, will also contribute dozens of scarecrows to this year’s “Fest”.
The Valley’s first Scarecrow Fest was held in Solvang, in 2010, initiated by the Solvang Third Wednesday committee. The original contest was created 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. Past years’ Santa Ynez Valley Scarecrow Fests have received far-reaching publicity, drawing increased visitor activity to the region and inspiring other California towns to host a Scarecrow Fest of their own, such as the Big Bear Village Scarecrow Festival.
More information about this year’s Santa Ynez Valley Scarecrow Fest is available at www.syvscarecrows.com. Scarecrow seekers may also follow the Santa Ynez Valley Scarecrow Fest happenings on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, at facebook.com/SYVScarecrowFest, twitter.com/SYVscarecrows, and instagram.com/syvscarecrows. Scarecrow voters and visitors are encouraged to use the hashtag #syvscarecrows in on-line discussions of the SYV Scarecrow Fest.