It’s Sunday, Oct. 2, and my gal and I are tooling up Pacific Coast Highway on a classic fall day—some patchy fog but mostly clear, crystalline blues skies and aquamarine seas. We’re heading to Cambria to check out the Scarecrow Festival, where arts-minded folks and businesses decorate the town with our stuffed, brainless friends, who instead of following Dorothy on an adventure to Oz are happy to stay right where they are.
- PHOTO BY GLEN STARKEY
Since we’re starving, we beeline it to Moonstone Beach Bar and Grill where Anna has the fish and chips and I go for the beef dip. Delicious! Once we’re fueled up, we cruise up and down Moonstone Drive. There’s a surfer hoisting Gidget over his head! There’s Captain Jack Sparrow festooned with dreadlocks. There’s a hotel guest in a bathrobe walking a dog made out of what appears to be a towel.
“Look at that one,” Anna says. “There’s a bird right next to it.”
True, a not-very-scary scarecrow seems to have no game scaring away a fat brown seagull. On the other hand, the seagull looks like it’d prefer some discarded fish heads rather than the fruits of the field.
As we head back onto Main Street, we’re greeted by a marching band and flocks of tourists walking up and down the street soaking in the spectacle and snapping photos.
“Oh, did you see the nuns and priest down by the church?” a woman asks me. “They’re a hoot.”
We roll on, seeing headless scarecrows, hilarious scarecrows, old couples, odd couples, the aforementioned quintet of clergy, singing their papier-mâché lungs out.
They’re everywhere, these scarecrows, even at the dog park, where the figure holds a little green bag ostensibly filled with scarecrow dog poop. As we head south, out of town, we see to the left a scarecrow couple enjoying breakfast in a brass bed.
Bravo, Cambria Historical Society and the creative citizens of Cambria! You’ve done it again! This event is weird and wonderful.
Who knows? We may need to drive north again for Beer and Brats night (Oct. 7) or to hear bluegrass music by The SLO Pokes (Oct. 8) or to check out the talent show (Oct. 9).
Glen Starkey takes a beating and keeps on bleating. Keep up with him via twitter at twitter.com/glenstarkey, friend him at Myspace.com/glenstarkey, or contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.