Gisburn stages first scarecrow festival

Anne Waters and husband David with her winning entry, the  witch from 'Room on the Broom.'
Anne Waters and husband David with her winning entry, the witch from 'Room on the Broom.'
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Villagers and visitors enjoyed a great weekend of fun in Gisburn’s first-ever Scarecrow Festival.

More than 40 scarecrows, all based on characters from children’s stories, were lovingly created by the village’s children, grown-ups and businesses and placed all over the village.

Children at the village primary school made four entries, the Brownies, Rainbows and Guides created exhibits and there were lots of family efforts and individual entries.

Local businesses also joined the fun, with entries from Stirk House Hotel, Gisburne Park Hospital and Park House Hotel. The event was sponsored by Ribblesdale Park Estate and Stirk House.

The winning entry was the witch from “Room on the Broom”, by Anne Waters. She said: “I am absolutely thrilled to have won but also really surprised as there were so many fantastic entries.”

Runner-up was “Mr Gum and the Biscuit Billionaire” by the Davis family and third was “Three Little Pigs” by the Hopcraft family.

The Wright family won the prize for correctly identifying the most scarecrows on the trail map.

The village car park was full of visitors’ cars on Saturday and Sunday, and helpers at the Festival Hall did a roaring trade in drinks and home-made cakes. Money raised from the raffle, trail maps and refreshments will go towards Festival Hall improvements.

“We got some excellent support from Gisburn people and businesses, which made it a real community effort, and we got some great feedback from visitors,” said Kirsty Hopcraft, one of the organising committee.

“One couple told us they went to lots of scarecrow festivals but ours was the best they’d seen because of the attention to detail.

“It was a fabulous weekend, and everybody said they want to do another festival next year.”