When: 2nd – 5th May 2014
Where: Wray Village, Lancashire
£: The Scarecrow Festival was free but there was a £1.50 charge to park and admission to the fair cost £3.
What was it?
The Wray Scarecrow Festival is an extremely popular annual event and Contrary Life decided to make its first visit to the quirky village festival. We visited on Fair Day and it was clearly very busy. However the event is well organised and we were quickly marshalled onto the car parking field and were able to move around the village with relative ease.
This year’s theme for the festival scarecrows was Heroes and Villains. The local residents came up with a whole host of imaginative ideas including both fictional characters from comics, film and TV, and real-life historical figures.
Popular scarecrows at this year’s event were Spiderman, Robin Hood and Despicable Me. There were also quite a few topical scarecrows with likenesses of Rebecca Brooks, Michael Gove and Alex Salmond, plus a David Moyes inspired ‘Sacked Scarecrow’ on show.
The creativity and effort put into the scarecrows varied with some residents cheating slightly, one ‘scarecrow’ was simply a pair of boots with the sign ‘Invisible Man’ next to it. Others really went to town with the use of mechanical movement. A Tom and Jerry sketch was particularly good. Some efforts were quite serious and heartfelt, with many Armed Forces inspired entries. Many were simply playful, such as the ‘Flash Gordon’ scarecrow which invited you to press a button, lifting up the ‘crows kilt in a rather cheeky manner.
The giant scarecrows which had been paraded through the village on the Friday were still dotted around the village with a larger than life St George outside the pub and the ‘Green Man’ on the fair field.
The fair was spread over two fields, one with a main arena for entertainment including football and piping, and the second with fairground rides. There were a variety of stalls, a craft tent, a refreshments tent and games to keep families amused. The queues for food around lunchtime were quite long in places and there could have been more local food stalls on offer instead of the bog-standard burger vans you see at every festival. However, local company Bowland were there serving hog roast, burgers and sausages. For the veggies there was a crêpe stand and a stand selling halloumi and falafel. The food was priced at around £3 to £4, so not too expensive. For the sweet toothed there was an array of sweets, candy floss, handmade chocolates and cake to indulge in.
Despite the crowds, we had an enjoyable day out, even sampling some Wray Scarecrow ale. We met plenty of visitors who love coming back every year and it is a good family friendly event. If we decide to visit next year we may just stop off in the neighbouring village of Hornby for refreshments. It had a tea room and several pubs which looked tempting, and rather peaceful and quiet after our bustling day out in Wray.
To see more of this year’s scarecrow heroes and villains, have a look at our specially created Pinterest board.
More info: www.facebook.com/wrayscarecrows