This year may be the year “Star Wars” returns to the big screen, but it was a more whimsical space-related blockbuster that provided the inspiration for this year’s top prize-winner in the Cambria Scarecrow Festival.
“Turn on Your Heartlight,” a depiction of the title character from Steven Spielberg’s 1982 classic “E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial” was named Best of Show in the adult category when annual awards were announced this past week. (The
title of the piece echoes a lyric from Neil Diamond’s Top 10 Billboard hit “Heartlight,” which was inspired by the film).
Christine Fischer created the E.T. scarecrow for Lucia Apothecary. According to a news from the Scarecrow Festival, this was just the second time she’s created a scarecrow for the event.
In the student category, judges awarded a joint prize to Ellie Magnuson and Priscilla Mendoza, who created scarecrows of William Randolph Hearst and Hearst Castle architect Julia Morgan, respectively, for the Cambria Chamber of Commerce.
The festival announced its adult awards at its kickoff party Oct. 1, which featured music by Ron Perry and Mary Schwalbe.
Supervisor Bruce Gibson presented the student awards at the Pinedorado Grounds two days later. “Village Wizard” Rick Bruce entertained the crowd with magic, in keeping with this year’s festival theme of “A Magical Place,” and free ice cream and cookies were provided for the kids.
The judges for this year’s festival were Sandra Duerr, executive editor of The Tribune; Noreen Martin, chief executive officer of Martin Resorts; and Jo Wemple of Cayucos, host of the travel-themed television show, “On the Road With Jo.”
Scarecrows will remain on display through the end of October.
The following is a complete list of winners, with locations in parentheses where not otherwise clear.
- Best of Show: Turn On Your Heartlight by Christine Fisher for Lucia Apothecary.
- Judges’ Award for Overall Display: Cambria Pines Nursery & Florist.
- Festival Theme Awards: 1. Tinkerbell by Phil Hauser for Robins Restaurant; 2. Beastie by Mona and Bill Sheppard (north of Bluebird Inn); 3. Cornelius the Unicorn by Tigg Morales for Cambria Pines Realty.
- Most Whimsical: 1. Wild Ride by the staff of The Garden Shed; 2. Herb the Happy Troll by Beverly Whitaker for Ephraim Pottery; 3. Ahh-Lee-BOB-aah by Team RECC for Real Estate Company of Cambria.
- Most Unique: 1. Clayton the Kiln Dragon by Franz and Vicki Affentrager for Patricia Griffin Studios; 2. Broomilla by Dena Watson for Indigo Moon; 3. J. Patrick by Linda Ennen for J. Patrick House.
- Most Likely to Scare Crows: 1. Mi Amor Eterno by Joe and Magda Markham for Cinnabar; 2. Frankentique by Marilee Heyer for Rich Man Poor Man Antiques; 3. Wicked Witch Eyes the Welcome Map by Phil Hauser for The Welcome Map (near Moonstones Gallery).
- Most Lifelike: 1. Doc by Beverly Whitaker (at Cambria Center for the Arts); 2. Stompin’ Stan by the staff at Harmony Cellars (on the Cambria Historical Museum grounds); 3. My Miyagi by Tamara Stone for Cambria Nursery & Florist.
- Best Animation: 1. Happily Ever After by the team of Bill and Mona Sheppard, Tina Quaschnick, Bobbi Doyle and Joe Prian for RE/MAX Pines by the Sea; 2. Glow by Bill and Mona Sheppard (north of Bluebird Inn).
- Best of Show: Julia Morgan by Priscilla Mendoza and W. R. Hearst by Ellie Magnuson, both for The Morgan (tie).
- Festival Theme Award: 1. Girl Picking Fruit by Meg Stern and Fruit Tree by Hayley Zinn, both for Centrally Grown (tie); 2. Swiss Miss Dairy Fairy by Samantha Halen for the Town of Harmony and Father Time by Brayan Pena for Once Upon a Tyme (tie); 3. Cambria’s Tinkerbell by Madison and Mason Breen for Breen Vacation Station/Breen Realty.
- Most Whimsical: 1. The Magical Catch by Sydni Azevedo for San Simeon Pines Seaside Resort; 2. Minion Pushing Cart by Helena Hansen and Minion in Cart by Lindy Ortiz, both for Cookie Crock Market (tie); 3. Cupcake Head Chef by Lupita Castaneda and Reagan Kniffen for A Matter of Taste.
- Most Unique: 1. Poodle Wearing Poodle Skirt by Ashley Martinez for Estrella Kennels (on the Cambria Historical Museum grounds); 2. Traveler Out of Maps by Tyler Seng for Highway 1; 3. Silver Surfer by Freddie Palominos for Silver Surfer Motel.
- Most Likely to Scare Crows: 1. Bride Toasting by Riley Kennedy for Fermentations; 2. Bed Head Girl by Martha Gomez for Diva Day Spa; 3. Men In Black-Tommy Lee Jones by Bobbie Koester and Men In Black-Will Smith by Sage Deack, both for San Simeon Chamber of Commerce (tie).
- Most Lifelike: 1. Las Cambriatas by Ashley Colin for Las Cambritas Restaurant; 2. Fisherman by Sam Light for Creekside Inn; 3. Kobe Bryant by Carlos de Alba for the Courtesy Inn in San Simeon.