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Central Coast Living: Cambria Scarecrow Festival returns, reimagined with COVID-19 safety guidelines

Posted at 10:34 AM, Oct 02, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-02 13:34:35-04

Central Coast Living is adapting to keep our friends and family healthy and safe while still enjoying the things that make our home so special.

In Cambria, October means one thing: scarecrows.

Every year, the streets of Cambria are decorated with adorable, astonishing and artistic creations.

Resident Michael Green told KSBY the Cambria Scarecrow Festivalis a highlight of his year.

"I love the Scarecrow Festival. It brings a lot of people in and even though I'm a resident, every year at Scarecrow Festival time, I become a tourist," Green said.

The festival's president, Paulla Ufferheide, says the event will be a little different in its 12th year.

"Our board worked really, really hard to try to come up with a concept where we could still do a safe display so that people could still come out and have something to smile at but do it in a safe way," Ufferheide said.

Scarecrows are not scattered throughout town this year. Ufferheide says this allows for more outdoor dining on sidewalks, where scarecrows would be set up in a normal year.

Instead, visitors will find themed collections of scarecrows at five locations along the North Coast.

For fans of the festival like Green, the new arrangement actually works out better.

"I've very happy to see that the scarecrows are in grouped places so you don't have to stop at each one several times along the road but you can go to one place," he said.

Off Burton St, the strong man scarecrow welcomes you to the "Cambria Strong" display.

"What we've done is we tried to illustrate some of the different events and things that go on in Cambria so that people can come back in 2021 and get to enjoy them," Ufferheide said.

At the five displays, directional arrows on the ground guide visitors through.

"People can walk along, keep their social distance and still get to enjoy these fabulous artistic creations," Ufferheide said.

At the Pinedorado grounds, everyone is sure to find a favorite character. Darth Vader, the Seven Dwarves, Bugs Bunny and Frankenstein are just a few of the scarecrows that comprise the "Fanciful Cambria Fair."

Over by the Shell gas station, the scarecrows are celebrating Dia De Los Muertos with colorfully painted skeletons, paper flags and streamers.

Take a short drive north on Highway 1 to San Simeon and pull off inland toward the San Simeon Liquor Store. Nearby, you will find Maude running for Mayor of Zombieville and her spooky constituents.

Organizers simply ask visitors to be conscientious while walking through these displays.

"Wear a mask while you're viewing the scarecrows," Ufferheide said. "We don't want any of our scarecrows to get COVID you know."

Even a pandemic can't cancel this Central Coast tradition.

"I think of any year in my whole life that people need to have some smiles, it's this year and these [scarecrows] can't help but make you smile," Ufferheife said.

The scarecrows will be on display through November 1 at the following places:

  • Cambria Strong (4005 Burton Dr, near Oliver’s Twist store)
  • Fantasy by the Sea (1174 Main St. In front of the Santa Rosa Catholic Church)
  • Fanciful Cambria Fair (940 Main St, Cambria, Pinedorado Grounds)
  • Día de los Muertos (589 Main St, Cambria Shell Station)
  • Zombie Voting Rally (By San Simeon Beach Bar & Grill)

Click here to check out a map of the locations. If you go, take a photo and share it using #BeOnKSBY!