THIS YEAR’S Belbroughton Scarecrow Festival has been hailed the best ever with organisers saying the amount raised will surpass the record £36,000 collected last year.
More than 22,000 visitors flocked to the village over Saturday and Sunday (September 27 and 28) when there were a total of 132 scarecrows on display – also a new record.
This year’s theme was ‘Heroes and Villains’ and among the creations were Indiana Jones, Star Wars characters, Robin Hood, Cruella de Vill, James Bond, Superman, Spiderman, Austin Powers and even Hannibal Lector – comically dubbed Hay Nibble Lector.
The cash raised will be put towards supporting a variety of activities in the village with money going to the church, school, recreation centre, village fund, animal sanctuary and cricket club.
A number of national charities will also benefit from the funds.
This year a new pricing structure was introduced – it was £5 per person over three and all the children’s rides were free.
Youngsters enjoyed bouncy castles, trampolines, a miniature steam railway, a carousel and got to meet characters from Frozen.
There was also the chance to go in a Midlands Air Ambulance helicopter cockpit and an RNLI lifeboat, wearing the clothes the volunteers wear when they undertake rescues.
Richard Goodman’s Amazing Airshow, with a dramatic aeroplane display, also delighted the thousands that visited.
On the scarecrow front – the evil queen from Snow White won best overall scarecrow.
The Teenage Ginger Melon Scaretles won best foreign scarecrows (outside the Belbroughton boundary), The Trunchbull won best original scarecrow and the Malificent won the best display of artistic talent.
Other awards went to The Ghostbusters – the best interpretation of the theme – and Goldfinger won ‘best pun’.
Chairman Ian Pemberton told The Standard he had received some really good feedback.
“It used to be called Belbroughton Scarecrow Weekend but it now has a festival feel.
“We have a few things we need to address – we want to make sure that people aren’t queuing as long for the bigger rides next year, but on the whole it has been good.”
He added the festival committee wanted to hear from people about what they thought about the event and what people would like to see at the event.
Anyone wanting to have their say should email firstname.lastname@example.org and give their views.
Mirror mirror on the wall! – Diane Nakbeth with the wicked queen from Snow White.
Off to see the wizard! – The Dorothy scarecrow with Imogen and Annabelle Hunter.
Crow-ella de Vill – The 101 Dalmations’ villain with Sophie and Emily Jackson.
You hay-ve 20 seconds to comply! – Maddie Bromfield with Crowbocop.
Giving the festival her royal approval – HM The Queen took up her regular place for the weekend.
Fears of a clown! – Cadets Nick Davis and Cpl Chris Clarke have their bravery tested with this scarecrow.
The gates to the Temple of Doom? – Phill Dearned with one of several Indiana Jones scarecrows.
Swashbuckling shenanigans – Lewis and Hayley Waters, Elliot Dawes Amiee Waters with the pirates at The Queens.
It’s a warm day, but you look a bit Frozen! – Ollie Rock with Olaf from the hit Disney movie.