Santa Ynez Valley Scarecrow Fest

It's an October-long lark, with several area businesses displaying their most creatively imagined figures.

WHAT TAKES MORE TIME... and concentration and sheer wit? Planning a Halloween costume that will win the party's top prize? Or devising a scarecrow that is cute and strange and humorous and sweet? Both involve the elements of costuming and fantasy, and both take place during the autumn, too. But while humans are the ones to don elaborate outfits on the 31st of October, it is scarecrows, the non-humans among us, who wear their frightful and/or funny finery through much of the fall season, for weeks or months at a time. Several of our state's most celebrated scarecrows show up around the Santa Ynez Valley each October, and fans of fall fun — and wine country — regularly journey to the area to check out the cheeky, autumnal, grab-the-camera displays. Those displays may be viewed in Solvang, Buellton, Los Olivos, Los Alamos, and Ballard from...

OCT. 1 THROUGH 31, 2017: But where to find these fantastical fall figures populating the Santa Ynez Valley Scarecrow Fest? They'll be standing in front of dozens upon dozens of local businesses, and each will have its own vibe. A scarecrow might pay homage to a movie character, or a local tradition (hello, food and wine and windmills and æbleskivers), or simply rock a classic scarecrow mien. Of course there's a hashtag for all of the happy-making scarecrow snapshots sure to show up on social media — #syvscarecrows — and of course you're free to try and see them all (there have been well over 100 in recent years). Even if you just swing through a town or two, or the burg where it all began, Solvang, you'll come away with that quaint fall feeling. So, is it harder to invent a costume or imagine the perfect scarecrow? Both are a charming challenge, both are so fall-like, but the scarecrows do rule the Santa Ynez Valley come October.

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