THE POPULAR Belbroughton Scarecrow Festival returns this weekend and the organisers have vowed to roll back the event to a time where fun was simple.
More than 100 scarecrows are ready and waiting to welcome visitors on Saturday and Sunday, September 21 and 22, and this year’s theme will be ‘Village Life’.
On the Recreation Centre Field the best of local craft and food producers will be celebrated and there will be stalls from local charities.
There will also be some market traders, crazy games, Belbroughton animals and the much-loved mini steam train.
Vintage Cars will be on show on the school field and the organisers promise surprises around every corner in the village as people head off to search for scarecrows.
Elsewhere in the village, The Talbot and The Crown at Iverly have teamed up to put on two days of live entertainment and there will be street food and a carnival atmosphere.
Among those performing on the Saturday in the car park at The Talbot will be Ben Vickers, Jessica Rhodes, Wedding Crashers, Jack Gayler and Giles and Sully.
The Wedding Crashers will return on Sunday, along with James Allen, Alex and Rachel and Danny Duo.
Specific timings below.
The event, which was started more than two decades ago, attracted 30,000 people and 6,000 cars in its ‘hay day’ raising more than £50,000 for the village and good causes.
But it has been a tumultuous couple of years for the event – two years ago it was hit by heavy rain and last year not enough people could not be mustered to organise it.
The festival also came under fire from some people who said it had become too big and too commercial, taking away the original core values of the event.
Belbroughton Scarecrow Festival chairman Patrick Browne said: “It had become more like a funfair than a scarecrow festival and that was not what people wanted.
“Visitors loved going around and looking at the creations our villagers have made and that is what we are going back to.
“This year it will be more traditional, placing the focus back on the scarecrows and – at over 100 – we have double the number we usually have on show.”
Patrick added in the future he hoped to team up with some of the local museums so traditional crafts could also be showcased as part of the event.
The festival runs from 10am to 5pm each day.
Entry is £10 per car and admission is paid for on the day.
Well-behaved dogs on leads are welcome and there is also disable parking available.
People should take water bottles along as, thanks to Severn Trent, there will be free water filling stations.
Visit the Belbroughton Scarecrow Festival 2019 Facebook page for more information.