Cambrian: Opinion

Workshops a great way to get ready for Cambria Scarecrow Festival

In August, the Cambria Scarecrow Festival will offer newly designed workshops focused on building a new scarecrow or restoring or reimagining an old one. These workshops are free and open to any Cambria or San Simeon resident or business owner. 

Anticipating a successful seventh Cambria Scarecrow Festival this October, the festival has scheduled two demonstration workshops at the Veterans Memorial Building. One will explore ideas and methods for creating or restoring scarecrows; the other will focus on assisting scarecrows already in progress. In both cases, the demonstrations will encourage creations that reflect this year’s theme, “A Magical Place.” 

Scheduled for two Saturdays, Aug. 1 and Aug. 22, and running from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., the workshops will feature round-robin demonstrations and expert advice on the various components of creating scarecrows — building bodies, soft sculpting and painting. 

The theme of “A Magical Place” celebrates the beauty and enchantment of our Central Coast communities. Of course, the fanciful scarecrows are not produced by magic. The festival relies on creative volunteers. To help spark that creativity, the festival redesigned the workshops to use round-robin demonstrations, through which scarecrow builders and restorers can explore magical possibilities.

The workshops will include demonstrations, as well as advice on rehabilitating veteran scarecrows. The Aug. 1 workshop will focus on creating and rehabilitating. The Aug. 22 workshop, dubbed “Dr. Crow Team to the Rescue,” will focus on advice for those who are well underway in creating or restoring their scarecrows.

Funded by a grant from local businesses, the workshops are offered free of charge, specifically for Cambria, Harmony and San Simeon residents and business owners. Participants may be asked to show proof of residency or business ownership. Participants younger than 16 must be accompanied by an adult. Registration for the workshops is required and limited to two partici-pants per scarecrow. More information and pre-registration materials are available online at www.cambria (click on “participate”). 

The workshops are a key element in helping to continue a six-year tradition of scarecrows on the Central Coast. Since 2009, each October, Cambria and San Simeon residents and visitors have been greeted and entertained by these fanciful and creative scarecrows. 

From fewer than 50 creative scarecrows in its first year (all installed at the Cambria Historical Museum) to more than 400 scarecrows last year, the Cambria Scarecrow Festival draws on the talent and creativity of local students, business owners and artists of all media to produce scenes of wonder and magic along our streets and at local businesses. 

This year, the Festival will also have an additional new touch. The Pinedorado grounds will become a major staging area for themed scarecrow installations. Along with the museum grounds in the East Village, this West Village location will become one of the highlights of the festival.

The Cambria Scarecrow Festival has become a successful tradition that promotes and celebrates our Central Coast community as truly, “A Magical Place.”