-The public is invited to come stay, play, enjoy, be judges and vote for their favorite scarecrows during the first-ever Santa Ynez Valley Scarecrowfest from Friday, October 11 through Monday, November 11, 2013. Scarecrows are crafted by businesses, individuals and schoolchildren and on display throughout the Santa Ynez Valley in the five communities of Solvang, Santa Ynez, Los Olivos, Los Alamos and Buellton. The winning scarecrows from each town will be eligible for the “2013 Harvest Cup: Best in the Valley” announced on Wednesday, November 20, 2013 at 2:30 p.m. at the Wildling Museum, 1511-B Mission Drive in Solvang.

Sponsored in part by the Santa Ynez Valley Hotel Association (www.VisitTheSantaYnezValley.com), this first “Santa Ynez Valley-wide” Scarecrowfest is designed to delight those of all ages according to organizers. The first Scarecrowfest was held in Solvang in 2010 initiated by the Solvang Third Wednesday committee led by Susan Williams and Sue Moualim. Sixty Solvang businesses joined in the fun and by 2012, more than 100 businesses participated and 1,200 public judging ballots were received. Due to this popularity, Scarecrowfest has been expanded to all five communities, each with their own special flair.

The fourth annual Solvang Scarecrowfest sponsored by Solvang Third Wednesday (www.Solvang3rdWednesday.com) will feature 118 handcrafted scarecrows. The public’s “Popular Vote” winner is determined by ballots turned in by visitors and locals selecting their favorite scarecrows pertaining to eight specific categories: Most Danish, Most Traditional, Most Humorous, Spookiest, Best Action, Best Use of Recycled Materials, Best Use of Natural Materials, and Most Reflective of the Business. Voters can turn their ballot in to any business participating in the Solvang Scarecrowfest by November 11. Ballots and location maps of the scarecrows are available from 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. daily at the Solvang Visitors Center, 1639 Copenhagen Drive; and wherever there is a scarecrow perched at a shop or office. In addition to the eight category winners determined by public voting, a panel of anonymous judges will give awards to the “Best Scarecrow” in seven different geographic areas in the City of Solvang, and then determine the “Best Overall Scarecrow” winner that will go on to compete for “2013 Harvest Cup: Best in the Valley.”

The newly formed Santa Ynez Chamber of Commerce (www.SantaYnezChamber.org) is proud to sponsor the first-ever “Santa Ynez Scarecrow Village” that will be on display at the Santa Ynez Valley Historical Museum, 3596 Sagunto Street, from October 22-31, 2013. Santa Ynez businesses are partnering with Santa Ynez Valley student classrooms and school organizations to take part in creating a scarecrow. During the Halloween Sagunto Street Faire on October 31 from 5:00-8:30 p.m., scarecrows will be silently auctioned off to visitors, locals and everyday witches and warlocks with all proceeds benefiting the scarecrow’s creator/classroom/non-profit. The scarecrow that raises the most money will be entered into the “2013 Harvest Cup: Best in the Valley” competition.

In Los Olivos, more than two dozen businesses are participating for the first time in Scarecrowfest sponsored by the Los Olivos Business Organization (www.losolivosca.com). Starting October 11, 2013, visitors and residents alike are encouraged to pick up a ballot at participating merchants or download one from the website. After admiring all the entrants, they can cast their votes for their favorite scarecrows in the following categories: “Best Los Olivos Scarecrow”; Most Humorous; Spookiest; Best Business Theme; Best Natural Materials; and Best Traditional. Completed ballots can be left at any of the participating businesses and will be tallied on November 11 to determine who will represent Los Olivos for the first time in the quest for the “2013 Harvest Cup: Best in the Valley.”

In the ‘old west with a new twist’ community of Los Alamos, the first Scarecrowfest is being coordinated by Los Alamos Merchant Society members—a creative bunch sure to surprise with their entries inhabiting businesses such as art galleries, wine tasting rooms and restaurants along the main thoroughfare of Bell Street. Folks can vote for their favorite during the Los Alamos Third Saturday Evening Stroll with the theme of pumpkins & scarecrows on October 19, 2013 from 4:00-8:00 p.m. The most-liked scarecrow will go on to compete for “2013 Harvest Cup: Best in the Valley”

For the first time ever, the Buellton Chamber of Commerce & Visitors Bureau (www.VisitBuellton.com) is sponsoring the Buellton Scarecrowfest. Maps pinpointing scarecrow locations along with ballots and ballot boxes will be available at the Buellton Visitor Information Center, 594 Avenue of Flags, as well at participating merchants throughout the city. Scarecrows in Buellton will be judged by locals, tourists and an anonymous panel of judges in the following categories: Best Use of Natural Materials, Best Use of Business Theme, Most Humorous, and Spookiest. The deadline to vote to choose the Best Scarecrow of Buellton is October 25 and that winner will represent the city in the coveted “2013 Harvest Cup: Best in the Valley” contest.

To discover more about the Santa Ynez Valley, access www.VisitTheSantaYnezValley.com.

For more information about the Santa Ynez Valley Scarecrowfest, visit www.SYVscarecrows.com


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