Autumn Art: Scarecrows of Cambria

The ocean-pretty town boasts hundreds of fall figures come October.

THERE ARE SOME CREATIVE EXPRESSIONS... that are solely tied to a single season, or nearly. The colorful, grassy-bright baskets of Easter and springtime come to mind, as do the paper snowflakes crafted when wintry days grow cold. Summer has its plentiful art projects — melon carving, anyone? — and autumn's crafts are plentiful, from the cornucopias of Thanksgiving to jack o'lantern faces. But scarecrows are way up there, too, on the autumn-beautiful chart. True, they can be seen all year long, out in corn-growing fields, serving as persuasive billboards to any approaching birds, suggesting that the visitors kindly move along. But lots of people get into the scarecrow-making act when the autumn equinox arrives, and the fall figures become something else: seasonal artworks. Those artworks are displayed by homes, and businesses, and sometimes whole towns. One of those towns happens to be coast-close, and charming as all get-out: It's Cambria, a place so associated with autumn charms that it served as the setting for no less than "Arachnophobia." But scarecrows, not multi-leg critters, dominate come October, when the...

CAMBRIA SCARECROW FESTIVAL... comes to town. "Hundreds" of the hay-happy figures will fill the small burg, and they won't just be standing in the standard scarecrow position. You might find them "bowling, bathing, painting, pedaling, fishing, and flying..." says the event's online HQ, and several are sure to be photo-worthy, should your social media need scarecrowing (it's always a plus). There's a kick-off weekend for the 8th annual festival starting on Sept. 29, with a bus tour, a wine/beer/foodie party, and more happening in a short spate of days. Is the scarecrow your favorite expression of fall? Does a quirky-sweet down like Cambria make you swoon? It's a creative combo that cannot be topped. Make your October date with one of California's happiest Halloween locales.

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