KETTLEWELL Scarecrow Festival is going online.

Organisers of the annual event say they have risen to the Covid challenge by creating a new way to experience the best of the festival online from this Saturday, August 8.

This is the date the ‘real’ Kettlewell Scarecrow Festival would have commenced and although the nine-day spectacle of fun and fabulous scarecrows will not be taking place, the thousands of devotees can put the kettle on and follow a virtual scarecrow trail, make the famous village hall cakes and enjoy a whole lot more without leaving home.,

The popular festival, which raises money for Kettlewell School, Kettlewell Village Hall and St Mary’s Church, has attracted hundreds of thousands of visitors over the last 25 years, come rain or shine, and has only had to cancel one other time, during the Foot and Mouth outbreak in 2001.

The scarecrow committee reluctantly concluded they had no choice but to cancel this summer’s event, but they were determined to create something really special for all the loyal followers to enjoy online instead.

Committee chairman Melanie Denyer said: “We were so sad we had to cancel the festival, but we’re a small village community and the health of both our visitors and our neighbours was too important to risk. But with so much moving online during lockdown, it made perfect sense for us to pull out all the stops to create a really fun, interactive virtual festival you can access through our website.”

Online activities include a virtual trail with clues and secret words and recipes for the homemade cakes which people have enjoyed in the village hall.

There are a variety of scarecrow crafts to make, puzzles and pictures to colour in, which a specially created joke book is sure to raise a giggle - or groan.

There will even be musical performances by Buckden Singers, story readings, a gallery of pictures from the last 25 years, and the chance to order a colourful calendar for 2021, with pictures contributed by the children of Kettlewell School.

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