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A Summer Wasting: Kettlewell Scarecrow Festival

Welcome to Kettlewell

Welcome to Kettlewell

Weekends: God they’re boring aren’t they? You work all week just to get to them and then… well nothing. Generally you wake up on a Saturday with a hangover, a head full of regrets, a belly full of congealing kebab and are completely devoid of the inspiration or motivation to do anything bar procuring some bacon, the Saturday paper and then returning to duvet-town to hibernate until Monday, when you then proceed to moan to all and sundry that ‘it goes too fast’ and ‘there’s never anything to do’.

This is patently untrue, you (the unfortunate 9-5’ers) only get one weekend per week and I for one intend to make every effort; to make them all count.

So, with that in mind; here’s something worth dragging yourself out of bed for this weekend (and it has to be this weekend as it ends on the 16th so hurry, hurry) The Kettlewell Scarecrow Festival: http://tr.im/woav

Now, before you start your sarcastic inner monologue of ‘oh wow, a scarecrow festival… that *DOES* sound exciting’ allow me to try and convince you.

When was the last time you saw something genuinely unique? took part in something that you hadn’t seen the likes of before and didn’t think you ever would attend let alone enjoy?

I would imagine probably quite some time, having the same problem and growing increasingly bored of the limited activities presented to the regular urban survivor: Bowl O Rama, Lazer-Quest, Binge drinking and knife fights I started to seeking out new and eccentric ways to spend my down time.

Kettlewell Scarecrow Festival being one of those things.

Situated in the heart of the Dales. Kettlewell is a quaint, picturesque little village that every year hosts this most bonkers, quintessentially English event wherein almost every resident creates to varying degrees of quality/sanity/disturbingness a scarecrow and proudly displays it in front of their house, place of work or business for one week, there is a competitive element to it (The Women’s Institute award prizes to the top three efforts) but that’s not really important.

What is important is the level of imagination, creativity and sheer commitment that goes into creating the Scarecrows, there had to be at least 200 of them dotted around the village and no two were alike; there were the usual traditional ‘dingle-dangle’ efforts, some bizarre attempts at tributes to things ranging from Blue Peter to the Moon landings to Phil and Fern on This Morning and a few genuinely (and I would hope unintentionally) terrifying and macabre ones.

I think this was my favourite.

I think this was my favourite.

Upon arrival, you are greeted with huge homemade banners and bunting and a smiling local leads you into a specially cordoned off field where parking is free as long as you spend £1 at the stall, we bought a ‘Scarecrow Trail’ sheet, for a pound. Which was a series of clues that related to some specific scarecrows dotted about the village, who would have letters attached to them and once all had been spotted the collective letters made an anagram, they had an adult (age-wise, not content) version and a kiddiewinks version, which the kids we saw seemed to enjoy immensely and it added another facet to what was an already quite pleasant day.

Scarecrows aside, as mentioned the village itself is well worth a visit on its own merits. A glorious little place with a meandering river running through its heart where one can sit and vegetate by and kids can harass the wildlife to their hearts content.

There are many welcoming pubs and tea rooms selling locally made organic Ice creams, huge wobbling cream buns and the type of pub fair that you’d expect in this part of the world. I had a wonderful beef stew and a pint of scrumpy whilst watching the throngs of smiling people running hither and thither marvelling at the wonderfully strange creations poking out from every nook and cranny.

It was a truly lovely day, an inspired little gem of an event that could only happen in Britain in the summer and I honestly can’t recommend it enough, but be quick as this is the last weekend it’s on.

Or, you know. You could sit in your pyjamas and grumble your way through another episode of  The Antiques Road Show, whatever floats your boat.

Here are just some of the sites to be seen:

(for a more complete gallery, go here)

Get your hands... you've pulled.

Get your hands... you've pulled.


One comment on “A Summer Wasting: Kettlewell Scarecrow Festival

  1. Love it! It’s like a scarecrow version of Midsomer Murders!

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