The Cambrian

Cambria Scarecrow Festival leads list of Travel Channel’s 10 favorites

The Cambria Scarecrow Festival got a shout-out and top billing in a Travel Channel article touting “10 Scarecrow Festivals You Won’t Want to Miss This Fall.”

The posting at begins, “Autumn is the time to celebrate the fall season, and across the U.S. and Canada there are countless festivals that are centered around their local community’s traditions. … In recent years, scarecrow festivals have become increasingly popular, and part of the fun is seeing community members come up with wildly creative designs for the competition, like this Instagram-ready Day of the Dead homage at the Cambria Scarecrow Festival on the Central Coast of California near San Simeon.”

Evelyn Morales of Cambria designed and created that installation in 2015, and installed it in the garden of El Chorlito Mexican Restaurant in San Simeon.

Other festivals and ’crows mentioned in the Travel Channel piece were in Lahaska, Pennsylvania; Mahone Bay, Nova Scotia; St. Charles, Illinois; Thanksgiving Point, Utah; Brechin, Ontario; Oxford, Michigan; Prince Edward County, Ontario; Alpharetta, Georgia; and Trenton, Michigan.

Some of the scarecrows the Travel Channel used to illustrate those locations included depictions of Chewbacca and a pumpkin-based R2-D2; a bull-riding cowboy, a pterodactyl, “Wizard of Oz” characters and Leonardi di Vinci with his Mona Lisa painting.


At the local festival, a trio of judges from out of town picked the winners during a ’crow-by-’crow study on Oct. 2, but the announcements weren’t made or awards handed out until a special Octoberfest event co-sponsored by the Cambria Scarecrow Festival and the Lions Club on Oct. 20.

The nod for Best of Show went to a loomingly large blue caterpillar named “Jack O’Killer” — holding court in its own pumpkin patch at the intersection of Highway 1 and Cambria Drive. The display was created by a team of Cuesta College students and an instructor.

Team members who created the big beast that’s really more winsome looking than fearsome (unless you’re a pumpkin) were Alexander Johnson, Bo Branum, Ester Patague, Harley Patague, Harvey Perkins, Becky Meyers, Alejandro Echeverria, design lead Savannah Arroyo and instructor Margaret Korisheli.

“Jack O’Killer,” created by Cuesta College students at the corner of Cambria Drive and Highway 1, was named Best of Show in this year’s Scarecrow Festival. David Middlecamp

Other prize winners were:

• Best traditional scarecrow: 1st, “Hatti” by Terri Pilot; 2nd, “Sleepy Harvester” by Cambria Garden Shed Team; 3rd, “Basket Case” by Lynn Singer and Robin Brennan.

• Most imaginative scarecrow: 1st, “Queen Jacqueline-A-Lantern” by Laurie Lipson; 2nd, “MoMo the Mermaid” by Team RECC + Jayne Koontz; 3rd, “Little Red Riding Hood” by Sharon Vaughan and Haak Pearson.

• Best scarecrow inspired by real life: 1st, “Thai Fisherman” by Phil Hauser; 2nd, “Chinese Couple — Albert Chen” by Terri Pilot and “Su-Lin” by Susan Hill; 3rd, “Chimney Sweep” by Mary Nixon.

• Best group installation: 1st, “Adult Masks” at Cambria Center for the Arts; 2nd, “Cornosaurus Rex and Cave People” along Cambria Drive; 3rd, “All That Jazz” by Cambria Nursery & Florist design team

• Best animation, ensemble prize: “Fortune Teller, Curtain Call” for Florence Foster Jenkins, and “Buzzard Hill” by Cambria Nursery & Florist design team.

• Best humorous scarecrow: 1st, “Franken Carrot” by Rebecca Nielsen and Brian MacElvaine; 2nd, “Chicken Pot Pie” by Char Purdin, Darin McMaster and Renee Linn; 3rd, “Final Es’Crow” by Breen Realty and Breen Vacation Station team.

• Best scarecrow using the unexpected: 1st, “Corky” by Linda Finley and Cheri Kourtis; 2nd, “Headless Horseman” by Franz Affentranger; 3rd, “Arts Spider” by Greg Stell.

• Best scarecrow by student or child: 1st, “Laya” by Kaya Gulter; 2nd, “Toto El Surfer” by Maura Montero, Alberto Valencia, Xitlay Montero, Camila Montero and Joanna Valencia; 3rd, “Cat Dracula” by Axel Hernandez and Zoe Hernandez.

• Best mask scarecrow: 1st, “Gearhead” by Chris Fischer; 2nd, “King” by Julie Krebs; 3rd, “Mardi Crow” by Laureen Italiano.

• Best Dr. Crow re-creation: 1st, “Tipi Hedren” by Terri Pilot and Dr. Crow; 2nd, “Poodle Skirt Lady” by Amy Marshall, Liz Bannon and Dr. Crow; 3rd, “Beauty Briann” by Amy Marshall, Liz Bannon and Dr. Crow.

The judges were: David Middlecamp, longtime photographer at The Tribune; Brooke Martell, AM anchor of KSBY News; and Yvonne Cavanagh of Bakersfield, an artist, ceramics instructor and former art-gallery owner.

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