The Festival of Crow Scaring

As a distraction from the stresses and strains of trying to find gainful employment in a post-Brexit but pre-actual Brexit world on the brink of nuclear war, we went to the Norland Scarecrow Festival.

It is, as it sounds, a scarecrow festival in Norland which is a bit of Halifax far enough from the rest of Halifax to be nice and picturesque. And hilly. And where the townsfolk make scarecrows to stick outside their houses. Born from a celebration of the Millenium (because what says “happy new century better than straw filled fear golems?), each year is a different theme. This year was “Heroes & Villains.”

I’m going to say it now, the Scarecrow Festival doesn’t grab me. It’s not the most exciting thing. It’s ridiculously popular, judging by how far down the field we were parking, but then – weirdly – you didn’t see enough people on the roads of unenjoyable gradients to fully account for all the cars in the car park.

But hey ho.

We haven’t been to the festival for a few years, because I am a miserable straw-hating curmudgeon who, if nothing else, is still traumatised by the time there was a scarecrow of Charles Dickens surrounded by pictures of all his famous works, including (and I’m not sure this actually *was* his)  A Muppet Christmas Carol.

I tried my best to approach the trip to Norland with a Pollyanna attitude. But it quickly wore off as it became clear that less and less houses in the nice bit of Norland had done scarecrows. In fact, if it wasn’t for one house who really goes to town each year, it wouldn’t be worth turning up – this year they did the frickin’ Guardians of the Galaxy (except they didn’t say frickin’) minus Drax, and Yondo and Nebula and the one with the antennae. But otherwise Starlord, Gamora, Rocket and Groot in scarecrow form were rather excellent.

As was the slightly meta scarecrow of Batman villain Scarecrow. But the Lego version.

And the Alice In Wonderland was brilliant too, if only for the incredibly amount of wires snaking out of the garage to power everything.

And, of course, Donald J Trump was there, with a sign asking you to judge if he was a hero or villain. I’d say that they wasted a lot of time on the sign, as it’s entirely clear which camp he falls into (Camp David, in case anything kicks off).

But it still didn’t do it for me. The scarecrows made by the kids in some sort of nursery were just baffling. And the man who saw The Flash and then proceeded to sing the theme from Flash Gordon just deserved to be taken on one side and taught about how these things work.

But hey, it’s not every day you get to make innuendo-laden comments about a decorative historic organ. In a school playground of all places.