THE HISTORY OF OUR FESTIVAL
Our annual scarecrow competition is extremely popular with visitors and locals alike. Each year the numbers of visitors to the village during the festival increases and it's existence is now known worldwide! The festival hasn't been around for a very long time and was at the start a relatively low key affair.
In 1999 a Muston Millennium Committee was formed in anticipation of the forthcoming celebrations. It was during one of the meetings that Councillor Godfrey Allanson, Muston 'born and bred', put forward a suggestion.
A close friend of his had mentioned to him about a scarecrow festival that was held in his village of Sawley near Ripon every year and how popular it was. He said to Godfrey, "Why don't you hold one in Muston?"
Godfrey took this idea to the meeting and the committee took up the proposal. The first Muston Scarecrow Festival was held in 1999 and was a great success. Residents were invited to make scarecrows and for a fee of one pound could enter into a competition with a small prize for the best effort. The scarecrows were placed out in the streets and visitors came and enjoyed them so much that word of mouth spread quickly pulling in even more visitors.
The festival was never intended to be a money raiser for the village but a creative activity that gave enjoyment to visitors and residents. During the first festival it was noted that many visitors would ask, "Where are your collection boxes?" Of course there were no boxes.
A local farmer made his field available as a car park during the festival and some money was raised which was then used for the maintenance of existing facilities and improvements in the village.
The same field is still available for parking during the festival and at it's peak has seen approximately 1,500 cars on one day alone. The small fee taken for parking along with money raised by the refreshments sold at the village hall are held in a fund and used to the benefit of the village and local causes.
Each year the Muston Millennium Committee receive requests from local organisations for donations to assist their cause and it is thanks to the efforts of the residents and the goodwill of all our visitors that they are able to help in this way.
In addition, the money raised allows us to organise parties for the children and social events for the adults. Of course the festival itself costs money to host and the wear and tear on the village during the festival has to be put right at it's conclusion.
We thank all the residents that give so much time and effort to help make our festival so wonderful. We are also extremely grateful to the thousands of visitors that come to our village each year to meet our latest creations. Hope to see you here soon. Thank you.