Scarecrows to help Wray villagers celebrate jubilee

The Parade of Giants at Wray Scarecrow Festival last year.
The Parade of Giants at Wray Scarecrow Festival last year.
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IT’S not only Her Majesty the Queen who has a jubilee in 2012.

Some wacky scarecrows will be helping the enterprising villagers of Wray celebrate the Silver Jubilee of their annual country fair this year.

And, with the London Olympics on the way, they’ll all be competing for their places on the winners’ rostrum.

Wray Fair is now an integral part of the ever-popular Wray Scarecrow Festival, one of the cultural highlights of the Lune Valley’s calendar.

Visitors flock from far and wide to wander around the picturesque village, and enjoy the scarecrows which take over each spring.

This year’s festival will start this Saturday (April 28) and runs through to the Wray Fair on Monday, May 7.

The first Wray Fair of the modern era was in 1986 (two were cancelled), so this year’s event will be the 25th – a wonderful achievement, which everyone is eager to share.

The scarecrows first started to appear in 1994 to help promote the fair, were an immediate hit, and have now become a major attraction in their own right.

To mark the occasion of Wray Fair’s Silver Jubilee, one of this year’s themes for the scarecrows will be anniversaries.

There are plenty to choose from – 2012 marks 200 years since the birth of Charles Dickens, 100 years since the sinking of the Titanic and, of course, the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.

There are special events throughout the festival, some with a sporting theme and others which you can take at your leisure.

There’s the 10km Road Race and the Fell Race for all those who fancy themselves as Olympians, with prizes generously sponsored this year by EDF.

If a leisurely pace is more your thing, there’s rummaging at the car boot sale, enjoying the spectacle of a village cricket match, or watching the scarecrow balls bobbing down the river. And if you like to party, the Giant Scarecrow Parade is sure to get you in the mood.

Afterwards, everyone likes a bite to eat and a nice cuppa in the Village Institute – local food at its best.

On Sunday, April 29, the Vintage and Collectables Market promises to be both enjoyable and interesting, and on Thursday, May 3, the Classic Bike Night will be all revved up.

Everyone is welcome to come along to both events, and if you have a classic vehicle why not bring it with you?

The festival concludes with the showpiece event – the 25th Wray Fair. Opened by the cast of The Sound of Music from Morecambe Amateur Operatic and Dramatic Society, it will include demonstrations of rural crafts, fairground rides, classic vehicles, children’s entertainment, rare breeds, charity and trade stalls and the hilarious ducking stool.