Wiltshire scarecrow festivals are great examples of a quirky English event. Locals build scarecrows around a theme and visitors follow a trail, trying to guess what each of the creations are meant to portray!
Since I moved to Wiltshire a decade ago (wow!) I’ve totally embraced country life. I adore the fact we have a village peacock, everyone says hello to each other and there’s a real community feel. This comes to the forefront more than ever each June, when our village holds its annual scarecrow festival.
I’ll admit I did take the piss when I first heard about this village event as I’d never heard of a scarecrow festival before I moved to the South West. It just sounded a little too ‘country’ for this townie girl, but it didn’t take that long for me to fall in love with this quirky village tradition.
Several scarecrow festivals take place across Wiltshire throughout the year, each unique in what they offer visitors. Some focus entirely on a scarecrow trail, while others like our own expand on this with live music, stalls, bars and food.
Wiltshire scarecrow festivals
The main Wiltshire scarecrow festivals I’ve discovered so far are:
And of course our own, the Kington Langley Scarecrow Festival!
Kington Langley Scarecrow Festival
Kington Langley Scarecrow Festival began back in 2000 and has grown into an epic weekend event, which takes places every year on the third weekend in June.
The scarecrows can be quite tough to guess, but we gave it a good go as there’s £100 up for grabs to the person who gets the most right. Great motivation there! You’re also asked to vote for your fave scarecrow because at the end of the weekend there’s a reward ceremony for the scarecrow makers, with the main prize, People’s Choice, voted for by the visitors.
Over the weekend (the event takes place 10am-5pm Saturday and Sunday) there’s live performances put on by local bands, but also village groups and school children, as well as stalls, cream teas, a beer tent, tea tent (with a lot of cake) and a BBQ. It’s essentially a village fete ramped up to eleven and there’s just an amazing vibe as the village comes together to man the tents and raise a glass.
During our first few years in the village we only took part as visitors, enjoying wandering around the village guessing the themed scarecrow creations, and also being awed by the effort some of the creators put into their work – these guys are serious about scarecrows, I can tell you!
A few years down the line we thought it’d be a chuckle to make a scarecrow of our own – very badly. We didn’t get any rewards for our pretty poor attempt but we did get the bug and since then we’ve had a go at creating some kind of scarecrow every year.
Both Justin and I are quite competitive so after we were awarded our first ‘highly commended rosette’ (which means a member of the public actually voted for you – YAY!) we began to up our game. I say we, but it’s a full on family event to choose, design and build our scarecrow with the kids and in-laws all getting involved in cutting wood, stuffing the scarecrow, finding clothes, props etc. Our hard work has paid off in recent years though – two years ago we won third place in people’s choice and then again this year!
Each year there’s a theme to the scarecrow festival and for 2019 this was brands. It’s so much fun seeing what people create and this year we were wowed by one particular creation – unsurprisingly this won People’s Choice by miles.
This was Marvel, which a group of neighbours spent the last year building. Yep, literally, as they told us they started building Iron Man last November! It was a massive display of moving Marvel characters including Groot, Ant Man, Rocket, Hulk and Spiderman. I took this little video of the action, so check it out!
Second place went to Brands Hatch and we were third with our Burger King. What do you think?!
I thought I’d leave with some unnamed brands so you could have a go at guessing them yourself. Think you’ve got what it takes to come along next year and have a go at winning that £100 trail prize? 😉
Speaking of next year, the theme’s already been announced – Olympians. We’d love to hear your ideas for what we could create. Get those brains working and share your thoughts in the comments below!