East Budleigh scarecrow festival

The streets of East Budleigh will soon be full of new faces when the scarecrow festival makes a welcome return later this month.

Scores of scarecrows will be decorating the gardens and streets of East Budleigh when the village holds its festival later this month.

A host of entertainment and activities have been planned, for young and old, during the East Budleigh Scarecrow Festival from June 17 to19.

All funds from the three-day event, organised by the Friends of All Saints Church, will benefit the upkeep of the church and churchyard.

Visitors to the festival will be asked to vote for their favourite scarecrow.

A toll bridge will be in place in the village from midday until 4.30pm over the weekend.

Dr Todd Gray, from Exeter University, kicks off the festival at 7.30pm on Friday, June 17, with a talk in the church, entitled The Calendar Year in Devon: Customs and Traditions over the Past 500 Years.

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Tickets are �5 from East Budleigh Garage, the East Budleigh Shop, or at the door.

The Rev Anne Charlton officially opens the scarecrow festival the following day at midday on Saturday, June 18, in the village hall.

From midday until 4.30pm on June 18 and 19, there will be several stalls selling plants, books, cakes and memorabilia – including mini scarecrows.

Cream teas and refreshments will also be available.

There will also be a duck race in the brook by the village hall, starting at 3pm, on both days.

During the weekend, from midday until 4.30pm, All Saints Church will have an exhibition of colourful knitting produced by the village for the children of Moldova.

There will also be some examples of rare books on show.

Tours of the 12th century church start at 2.15pm from the porch on both days, or visitors can take a tour to the top of the church bell tower from 1.30pm to 6pm on Saturday and 2pm to 4pm on Sunday.

Drakes Primary School is holding an open day on Saturday, from 10am-3pm, which includes tours, pupils’ work and an exhibition of old photographs with the theme, Dipping into the Past.

There will also be a children’s treasure hunt through the village.

Tours of East Budleigh will run from outside the village hall at 2pm throughout the weekend.

The scarecrow festival draws to a close on Sunday, June 19, when All Saints Church will stage a songs of praise event in the church at 6.30pm.