The Cambria Scarecrow Festival is among USA Today’s top autumn festivals this year, leaving residents and local business owners feeling ecstatic but not surprised.
“I was really excited and I still am! I’m really delighted to get that kind of national recognition for our little town,” said Lorienne Schwenk, Cambria Chamber of Commerce Executive Director.
“Yeah definitely every time we get on a list of best beaches or best towns or best weird festivals it seems to do really well,” said Natalie Mark, Monarch Gallery Owner.
The scarecrow festival already attracted visitors, but now that it has made a national ranking list local businesses hope it will give them even more of a boost.
“Absolutely it’s going to be great for business,” said Schwenk.
“Probably the fall we’ll get a bit busier,” said Gisell Amezcua, French Corner Bakery Cashier & Barista.
“Just over the last couple of years with the Scarecrow Festival it’s been a big draw and attraction,” said Mark.
Business owners say throughout the last few years they have seen the festival grow, and more and more people are looking to join in.
“…you just feel like this energy and it’s like everybody uses their own creativity and we’re going to try to get involved this year,” said Rose Phillips, Psychic Psychic by the Sea.
“People really like it. I think it has a small town really quirky vibe and it makes the town really personal for people,” said Mark.
Many travelers coming from Big Sur stop in San Simeon to see the elephant seals or Hearst Castle, sometimes leaving the nearby community of Cambria feeling overlooked. The chamber of commerce is hoping this national ranking will change that.
“…walk around. Check out all the shops. See what’s going on and see that we’re not just a stop along the way to those other things we are a destination,” said Schwenk.
The Cambria Scarecrow Festival takes place from October 1-31.