Of the record 419 scarecrows lining Cambria and San Simeon’s business districts, a select few seem to suggest, “All right, Mr. DeMille, I’m ready for my closeup,” each hoping, perhaps, that its image will remain in perpetuity. The comedians of the lot, or the scarecrows that make you laugh, hope to boast the honor of Most Whimsical, while others vie for the title of Most Likely to Scare Crows (or People).
This year’s Cambria Scarecrow Festival officially opened Oct. 1. It was also judgment day for the more than 150 new scarecrows to this year’s event.
Four judges spent the morning viewing the new entries to determine which ones will wear a blue ribbon of excellence. This year’s judges were Bob Chute, editor/publisher of Paso Robles Magazine; Ian Parkinson, San Luis Obispo County sheriff; Brittany Silverstein, KCOY news producer/reporter; and Paul Sloan, director of sales and marketing for Visit San Luis Obispo County.
The winning scarecrows will be announced at this evening’s Cambria Scarecrow Festival Kickoff party. Cambria Nursery and Florist will host the event from 5 to 7 p.m.
Besides humor and fright, other categories are Most Life-Like, Most Unique/Creative and, for the mechanical entries, Best Animation. Best of Show is rumored to be the most coveted award among the scarecrows.
This evening’s kickoff party will include finger foods from San Simeon restaurants (sponsored by the San Simeon Tourism Alliance), wines from the seven vineyards and wineries of the Pacific Coast Wine Trail, and samplings of a seasonal-crafted beer by Cambria Beer Co. A nonalcoholic wine will also be available to sample. If the event has not sold out, tickets will be available at the door for $20 each.
Ron Perry and Mary Schwalbe will perform.
One winning scarecrow category will not be announced until the festival concludes. Members of the public can purchase a ballot for $1, which enters that person into a “Two-Day Cambria Getaway” drawing that includes lodging, dining, a Hearst Castle Grand Rooms Tour, and assorted gift certificates.
Ballots are available in more than 20 Cambria businesses and the San Simeon Chamber of Commerce. Visit the festival’s Facebook page (Cambria Scarecrows) for information.