A series of local workshops are giving new meaning to the phrase “getting a head start.”
For instance, student scarecrow-makers learned on Saturday, Aug. 23 about what is frequently the hardest part of fashioning the folk-art sculptures: Creating realistic (or surrealistic) heads and then painting the faces. These scarecrows bear little or no resemblance to the beloved figure played by Ray Bolger in “The Wizard of Oz.”
Instead, Cambria’s scarecrows on display during October will represent the best of the town’s prolific imagination and humor.
The whimsical figures are to be on display, mostly throughout the business district, as the prime attraction of the Cambria Historical Society Scarecrow and Harvest Festival. The festival happens Oct. 8 and 9, but the scarecrows are to be on display throughout October, weather permitting.
Scarecrows placed outside of shops, stores and other enterprises frequently are created by one or more employees who work inside those businesses. Nonprofit organizations, service clubs, schools and other groups also have indicated that they’ll be participating, according to organizer Taylor Hilden.
She said there will be no master list of locations for viewers to follow, because one purpose of the festival is “the element of ‘search and discover,’ to encourage people to ‘turn down this street,’ ” and get out of their cars to explore the community.
The final two workshops of the year are to take place Aug. 13 (teaching body construction and dressing the scarecrow), but are already filled to capacity, according to Valerie Eastman, one of the instructors. About half the participants enrolled in all the workshops, she said. Anyone, whether or not they’ve attended a workshop, is more than welcome to participate in the festival.
For details and photos of some of the 2010 scarecrows and information about registration for 2011, go to www.cambriascare crows.com.