Scarecrow Festival ~ Cambria, California

Jack Skellington

Do you have fun memories of scarecrows?  For me, I have several.  The scarecrow from one of my favorite movies, The Wizard of Oz and the rough homemade version my grandfather would carefully make every year to keep the crows and birds from eating the apricots off his tree. 

Getting off Highway 101 I was excited to see a banner hanging in town “Cambria Scarecrow Festival.” Nearby was an open field, filled with handmade scarecrows unlike any I have seen.

Skeleton Scarecrow in rusty car.

Driving down the quaint Main St. there are scarecrows everywhere.  Characters from Wizard of Oz, Star Wars, skeletons, and artists.  They are creative and so much fun you can help but smile.

The festival starts in October and lasts the entire month.  The scarecrows we learn are designed and created by business that either tell the story of the owners or the type of products they sell.  Some are created by locals to inspire a friendly competition in hopes of winning awards.

The first scarecrow festival was held in 2009 with 30 scarecrows scattered about town. In 2013, 450 scarecrows stood proudly in this artist  community.  Thousands of visitors are now coming to Cambria every October for the sunny warm days and to enjoy the scarecrows and festivities.

We picked up the Cambria Scarecrow Festival guide at the hotel.  On the front cover we found a QR code that we scanned with our smartphone.  The code took us to a site that gave detailed information on the activities happening during the festival.  Each scarecrow has a tag attached to it with a QR code.  Scan it and  learn about the scarecrow, who created it and additional information about the work of art.

We stumbled upon this festival and had so much fun following the map to find the scarecrows around town.  I can’t wait to go back and spend more time.

Travel Tips:  If you are headed to Cambria, California, it is located on the Central Coast of California between Santa Barbara and San Francisco.  There is plenty to do for a weekend.  Tour Hearst Castle, visit the Elephant seals, stroll the boardwalk along Moonstone Beach.  Hit the downtown area of Cambria for some great boutique stores, antique stores and artist galleries along with cafe’s.  Outside of town you will find some great wineries.


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