The second annual Scarecrow Festival at Shangri La Botanical Gardens and Nature Center is due to open on Tuesday, Oct. 26 and will last until Saturday, Nov. 27. The scarecrows will be put up for display on Sunday, Oct. 24 and on Monday, Oct. 25 in preparation for it’s opening. The scarecrows will be located throughout the gardens.

The gardens encouraged those participating to use recycled products to decorate their scarecrows. Michael Hoke, managing director of the gardens, said that David Self Ford is using recycled car parts for theirs.

Last year, 78 business, organizations, schools churches and families made scarecrows and more than 5,000 people visited the gardens to see them. Hoke said that over 100 entries have been made for this year’s festival.

“There’s really no telling how many people this represents,” Hoke said. “People from all walks of life are participating in the festival. They feel like they have ownership of the gardens.”
Hoke explained that every school in Orange County will be allowed to attend the Scarecrow Festival for free and they will try to cover most of the cost for busing the students to the gardens. The Stark Foundation and tickets sales make this possible and will provide environmental education for children of all ages.

“Since there aren’t a lot of things to do in this area, the Scarecrow Festival is a good way to get people in and give them something to do,” Hoke said. “It’s non-political, non-religious and you get to see nature.”

Admission for adults, ages 18 to 64, will cost $6; seniors, ages 65 and up, will cost $5; students with ID, ages 13-17, will cost $5; Children, ages 4- 12 will cost $4; and toddlers, three and under, are free. Visitors under 16 must be accompanied by an adult and children are to remain under supervision at all times.

Shangri La is open Tuesday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. and on Sundays from noon to 5 p.m. After Monday, Nov. 1, the gardens will close at 5 p.m. on Saturdays. The gardens are closed on Mondays.

About Nicole Gibbs

Editor of The Record Newspapers