Crowds are converging on the streets of Cambria and San Simeon — crowds of scarecrows, that is, as designers of hundreds of the whimsical creatures set up their artworks for all to enjoy during the monthlong Cambria Scarecrow Festival.
More than 380 of the mostly life-size or larger sculptures were on display by Wednesday, Sept. 25, with more expected.
The scarecrow festival began in 2009 as part of the Cambria Historical Society Harvest Festival. It continues through the end of October.
The use of social media, including QR codes and a People’s Choice Award, are “bringing the festival to a whole new level” for 2013, co-chairwoman Taylor Hilden said. This year’s festival also features for the first time a kickoff party where judging results will be announced.
The scarecrows include a tiny tooth fairy by a dentist’s office, a pachyderm by a pet supply store and Snoopy on his doghouse by a veterinary clinic. Full-scale scarecrow dioramas include a “Cycling Through the Ages” parade of bicyclists, five movie stars, a marching band and a set of 20 spooky movie creatures.
A few entries are poignant, such as the Cambria Fire Department's tribute to 19 firefighters lost in the Granite Mountain, Ariz., fire.
Hilden said this year’s displays include two Mary Poppins scarecrows, two Waldos, two Raggedy Ann and Andy couples and three Tin Men.
And then there’s the romantic tale of Carol Paulsen’s “Popeye, the Scarecrow Man” for Home Arts in West Village and Kathy Dowding’s “Olive Oyl” for the Cambria Historical Museum in East Village. The figures were made separately and unbeknownst to each artist — but matchmakers decided to unite the couple, displaying them together at Home Arts.
For more on the Scarecrow Festival, go to www.cambriascarecrows.com.
For information on the Cambria Historical Society Harvest Festival, Oct. 11 to 14, go to www.cambriahistoricalsociety.com.