California Scarecrow Festivals, Contests


California Scarecrow Festivals & Events

Scarecrows have long been used to to scare away the crows and birds in fields where valuable crops grow. Though not as prevalent today as the shiny pieces of film that look like tin foil flapping in the breeze, you'll still see a lively scarecrow from time to time and you'll see some pretty amazing ones around Halloween. Greetings to scarecrow lovers everywhere! There are many scarecrow events and festivals in California, primarily in the month of October. Here are a few we have uncovered.

SANTA YNEZ VALLEY: Santa Ynez Valley Scarecrow Festival October 1-31, 2023
Scarecrows from Ballard, Buellton, Los Alamos, Los Olivos, Santa Ynez, and Solvang are judged by the public in the following categories:
· Most Danish
· Best Photo Op Scarecrow
· Best Use of Recycled Materials
· Spookiest
· Best Use of Business Theme
· Most Humorous

FAIR OAKS: Village Scarecrow Contest  October 16, 2023, 12-1 p.m. in the Village of Fair Oaks
Fair Oaks, CA
Join in on the all new Scarecrow Contest presented by the Fair Oaks Recreation & Park District and Fair Oaks Chamber of Commerce.  Businesses, individuals, groups, and families are invited to enter. 

ARROYO GRANDE: There may not be a Harvest Festival this year, but several groups are hosting 'Harvest Events' which we will be posting and updating here! So how about this!! The Kiwanis of Arroyo Grande Valley are hosting a Scarecrow Contest!! Ribbons are awarded for the most outstanding entries judged on these four categories: Most original, Most Creative, Most Fashionable, and Best Depicts the Festival Theme. This year’s theme is Community Together. 805-474-8560

CHESTER:  October 1-31, 2023  Lake Almanor Merchant's Scarecrow Competition, Scarecrows are judged on Facebook by members of the community! Judging closes at midnight October 31st. The winner receives award recognition for community participation and spirit   If you do not have a business or storefront and wish to participate to support the youth or this community please contact us and we will find accommodations for your scarecrow. more info...

EXETER: Scarecrow 12th Annual Contest and Displays October 1-31, 2023,
Every October  the Exeter Chamber of Commerce hosts the Scarecrow Contest and the businesses and organizations of Exeter compete for votes. This Annual Event has become a town favorite.

EXETER: Scarecrow Contest and Displays October 1-31, 2022
Annual Exeter Scarecrow Contest presented by The Exeter Chamber of Commerce theme is "Something to Crow About"
For the entire month of October Family, Friendly, Fall Fun scarecrows line the charming streets of Exeter. Created by Exeter businesses, organizations, youth groups, families & individuals, these scarecrows are the  main attraction downtown. The fall festival  kicks off with the Scarecrow 2.0, 2 mile walk/run. Scarecrow Contest is part of the Fall Harvest Festival.

SIERRA MADRE: Scarecrows on Display October 1-31, 2023. The event celebrates its 12th year in 2023. It is organized by Creative Arts Group.

RIPON: Scarecrow Fest Displayed outside  businesses during the month of October (October 7-31, 2023) with voting on facebook. The 2023 theme is: Movies & TV Shows. Event is produced by the Ripon Chamber of Commerce: or  RiponChamberofCommerce

CHESTER: Lake Almanor Merchant's Scarecrow Contest & Displays  September 1-October 31, 2023. Voting begins on October 31, 2023

AUBURN: Auburn Community Festival Scarecrow Contest October 21, 2023, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Scarecrow Check-in is usually before event opens to the public
Recreation Park
123 Recreation Dr
Auburn California
Registration: $10 approx. scarecrow entry @
Scarecrows made with adult oversight created by kids that are 17 or younger. This is for either individual or group creation. People's Choice: All scarecrows are eligible regardless of category. Public in attendance may vote for their favorite. Top vote getter is the People’s Choice. Kids: Scarecrows Pumpkin weighing, Scarecrow Contest judging, Costume Contest and  Costume Parade

BENICIA: Frightfully First Street Annual Scarecrow Contest October 1-31, 2023
Scarecrows are on display starting throughout the month of October. Businesses on First Street and throughout Benicia will show off imaginatively created scarecrows.

CAMBRIA:  Cambria Scarecrow Festival October 1-31, 2023
Free public display throughout October.
Close to 500 unique creations are expected to line the main streets of these two towns, including a variety of traditional, animated and unique scarecrows. 

COSTA MESA: Scarecrow Festival October 14, 2023, 2-6 p.m. in Lions Park.

DANVILLE: The Scarecrow Stroll is October 1-30, 2022. The Town of Danville is excited for the second annual Scarecrow Stroll coming this fall. Danville businesses are currently busy creating their scarecrows and adding personality to their festive figure to show off their fall spirit. Scarecrows will be displayed outside Danville businesses between October 1 and October 30, 2022. Danville visitors and residents will be able to join the Scarecrow Stroll and follow the map to discover all the creative scarecrows while rediscovering and supporting local businesses. The community will also be able to share photos of their favorite scarecrows on social media and tag the Town for a chance to win prizes.

ELK GROVE: Giant Pumpkin Festival October 2-3, 2021, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
Elk Grove Regional Park
9950 Elk Grove- Florin Rd
Elk Grove, CA 95624
Free, $10  parking,
Scarecrow Contest application due early, see
People's Choice
Best Theme Scarecrow
A cash award will be presented to the entry which most accurately captures the spirit of this year's theme.

FALLBROOK Scarecrow Days October 1-31, 2022, 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Fallbrook Fall Faire
Main Ave. & Alvarado
Scarecrow Contest
You will be able to Vote for your favorite Scarecrow!
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
Wow Factor
Artistic Merit
Mechanical / Technical Merit
Funniest / Humor
Promoting Business
Pop Culture
Kids - individual, family, or group

IRWINDALE: Scarecrow Alley - November 22 - 24, 2021 Residents, Businesses and City Departments are invited to show off their creativity by designing their very own scarecrow that will be on display at our 2nd Annual Scarecrow Alley event hosted by the Irwindale Recreation and Public Works Departments.

WINTERS: Winters Chamber Scarecrow Contest October 1-November 1, 2021.  It may still be summer but it's TIME to start planning and building Scarecrows!! The competition was tough last year and there will be plenty of outstanding scarecrows celebrating fall all over Winters again this year! Date: The Winters Scarecrow Fest starts October 1st and ends November 1st. Don't want to actually build a Scarecrow but want to be involved? This year, YOU be the judge! Pick up a ballot from a participating business, vote for your favorites and return the ballot to a participating business. The ONLY way a Scarecrow can win is if You Vote! This year's categories are: Best Scarecrow using a Business Theme Best Humorous Scarecrow Best Spooky Scarecrow Best Use of Organic and/or Recycled Materials Best Halloween/Skeleton Themed Display We know our residents like to be involved as well! So, we have 2 categories just for you! Best Scarecrow Theme Best Halloween Theme These categories will be judged by a panel of expert experienced judges at an unknown date/time. So, make sure you have your Scarecrows, Skeletons and more ready on the 1st and don't remove them until November 1st. We know Winters is a small town but please register for these categories to help our judges find you! If you would like to participate please sign up by using the Register Button to the Right. Once you are on the Registration page, you will need to put the number of scarecrows you are entering by using the the + button. It will the prompt you to add your information. Both businesses and Residents need to sign up if you wish for your Scarecrow or Halloween Theme to be judged. If you have any questions, please contact the Chamber office by phone 530-795-2329 or by email

LATHROP: Scarecrow Contest Display at Pumpkin Maze, Dell'Osso Family Farm, September -October
Dell'Osso Family Farm Scarecrow Contest theme: "Super Heroes"
26 Stewart Road
Lathrop, CA 95330 scarecrow-contest/
Dell'Osso Family Farm Attraction with Pumpkin Patch, Mazes, Rides, Pumpkin Blaster and Scarecrow Ride.

RIPON: Scarecrow Fest October 1-31, 2021
The Chamber invites businesses, school programs, and families to build and decorate scarecrows to be displayed outside  businesses during the month of October. 1st, 2nd and 3rd place prize awarded. Ripon Chamber of Commerce located at 104 S. Stockton Ave., or online at

SIERRA MADRE: Scarecrows on Display October 1-31, 2021
Kick off Party
Starting in September, the strangest, quirkiest, scare-crowiest scarecrows ever to be seen will be on display throughout Sierra Madre. A contest open to Sierra Madre residents and businesses allows the public to visit and see these amazing, creative productions.
October 5  Scarecrow map will be available, and voting will begin
October 19  Voting closes at noon
October 23  Winners announced on,
All of October Enjoy the scarecrows of Sierra Madre!

UKIAH: Scarecrow City at Ukiah Pumpkin Festival  Ukiah Valley Conference Center
200 S. School Street
Ukiah, CA
Free to see,
Local students (age 18 years and younger) create scarecrows which they display for two days during Ukiah Country PumpkinFest. Every year Savings Bank pairs local merchants and classrooms together to compete. Scarecrow City is on display during PumpkinFest, with prizes awarded for best designs and dressed scarecrows. The public is invited to check out these creative works of art.

WINDSOR: Harvest Pumpkin Jamboree Scarecrow Building  Free admission,
The Windsor Pumpkin Festival takes place every year on the Windsor Town Green. This is very much a family oriented affair as there are many things for young children to do. The day starts off with a parade marching through the Town Green and into the market. From there the festival goes into full force with face painting, pumpkin painting, scarecrow building, biggest pumpkin contest, pumpkin bowling, and of course the awesome Pumpkin Car Races! 

DIXON: Cool Pumpkin Patch Scarecrow Contest 
Cool Patch Pumpkin Patch
6150 Dixon Avenue West
Dixon, California
Scare Crow Contest this year was partnered with Kristina Wiley DDS to support local first responders + their service to our community! As you walk through the plaza, you can see our Scarecrow Fields courtesy of local businesses.

VALLEY CENTER: Scarecrow Contest October 9, 2021, 10 a.m.-1 p.m.
Judging 11 a.m.-12 p.m. | Results 1 p.m.
Bates Nut Farm
15954 Woods Valley Rd.
Valley Center, CA
$5 parking, free admission, (760) 749-3333
Bring your scarecrow and completed registration form to the pumpkin patch Friday or before 10 am on Saturday
Join in the fun by designing and building a scarecrow to exhibit in the Bates Nut Farm Pumpkin Patch. Keep the lost art of scarecrow making alive! Your scarecrow will be on display in the Pumpkin Patch thru October 31. Individuals, groups and clubs are invited to enter; each entry will receive a free jack-o-lantern pumpkin and certificate of participation. All winning scarecrows become the property of Bates Nut Farm and will be added to its famous scarecrow collection.

Events are not guaranteed. It is your responsibility to confirm before going.

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