Have you been following “Invasion of the Scarecrows” in my recent October Instagram posts (@athenalucerotravels)? If so, I hope you are hungry for more that have popped up in front yards and storefronts all over Sierra Madre, California! My posts are just a sampling of the dozens and dozens of scarecrows standing guard throughout this foothill town celebrating the spirit of Halloween that’s just around the corner. If you have not seen the posts, you are not out of luck. Those photos – and a few more – come together in this photo essay. And then some.
The history of scarecrows dates to ancient times when farmers around the world constructed decoys in the shape of humans to scare birds away from their crops. Thanks to Sierra Madre’s Creative Arts Group, its 11th Annual Scarecrow Festival is at full throttle honoring this tradition, on another level.
Each year local residents, businesses, and organizations sign up to create their own scarecrow – be it scary, funny, friendly, or downright…well, you decide. Then the community has the chance to vote for its favorite. Dozens and dozens of scarecrows lurk throughout this three-square mile foothill village. This year, one hundred and twenty-four are official festival entries. Those not entered in the contest are created by sheer passion.
If you are in the mood for all things Halloween -- aka Hallowe’en (All Hallows’ evening), Allhalloween, All Hallows’ Eve or All Saints’ Eve -- look no further than the Creative Arts Group’s website at https://www.creativeartsgroup.org/scarecrow-festival. Here you’ll find the complete list of the entries (some with fun and fascinating stories), their photos, and a map that will lead you to them.