Santa Ynez Valley merchants will welcome the fall season by kicking off the annual Scarecrow Fest and contest on Oct. 1. Residents and tourists are invited to vote on their favorite creations throughout the month.
This year’s contest will include Ballard, Buellton and Los Olivos as well as Solvang, the town that started the Scarecrow Fest. Scarecrows can also be found around Santa Ynez and Los Alamos during October.
The month-long festival will run through Oct. 31, during which time visitors and residents are encouraged to play, stay and enjoy the scarecrow sights and .
Those events include Solvang Stomp on Saturday, Oct. 13, and the Solvang 3rd Wednesday Wine & Beer Walk on Oct. 17, as well as the Solvang and Buellton recreation departments’ big haunted house at Halloween.
The winning scarecrows from each town, crafted by local businesses, will be announced on Oct. 16 and eligible for the “2019 Harvest Cup: Best in the Valley” title and trophy, which will be announced at a ceremony in November.
The Landsby was the 2018 overall winner.
Each of the participating towns holds its own Scarecrow Fest and associated contest to select a winner that will represent each town in the quest for the valley-wide Harvest Cup trophy.
The valley’s first Scarecrow Fest was held in Solvang in 2010, initiated by the committee.
For more information, go to or follow the event on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Scarecrow voters and visitors are encouraged to use the hashtag #syvscarecrows in on-line discussions of the SYV Scarecrow Fest.