“What the heck are those?” we both blurted in unison. My husband and I were startled by the eery greeting of scarecrows welcoming us to Mahone Bay, Nova Scotia. Their toothy grins and haunting stares were a combination of kitschy and creepy.
Garish and gaudy, these handcrafted scarecrows are everywhere this time of year at the Mahone Bay Scarecrow Festival. Serendipitous timing landed us in this charming South Shore town as the autumn celebration wound down; if you’re in the area towards the end of September, click here for more details!
This ordinarily sleepy town of 900 residents bursts with an estimated 10000 visitors during the weekend activities of the Mahone Bay Scarecrow Festival, which include crafts, games, live music and antiquing.
Prepping for the Mahone Bay Scarecrow Festival, local artists and volunteers designed, stitched and painted over 250 scarecrows. Through corporate sponsorship and community efforts, the number of scarecrows grows each year.
You’ll find Marilyn Monroe and other Hollywood movie stars, musical legends like KISS and The Rolling stones, notorious politicians and even the Queen of England herself. You’ll be sure to recognise many of the famous characters loitering around town.
Kids love the Dreamworks and Disney-inspired characters from their favourite movies.
Even if you miss the festival, Mahone Bay is a popular tourist haunt year-round. The town is famous for its three churches welcoming boats into its bay and is touted as one of the prettiest towns in Canada. You’ll find turn-of-the-century homes resembling candy-coated gingerbread interlaced with cafes, gift shops, and even a craft brewery.
Mahone Bay Travel Guide
Amos Pewter sells exquisitely-made but surprisingly inexpensive pewter souvenirs melted, poured, and molded in-store. This is a great shop to pick up nautical gifts and mementos including pewter sea urchin shaped treasure boxes, jewellery, Christmas ornaments and more. Amos Pewter also has locations at Halifax’s waterfront and world-famous Peggy’s Cove. www.amospewter.com
Stop by Saltbox Brewing Company to down a flight of locally brewed small-batch craft beers. If you have kids in tow, be sure to pack a picnic. Children are only permitted on the premises if they are eating something. Food is not available for purchase here – beers and ciders only.www.saltboxbrewingcompany.ca
Grab a cup of coffee at The Barn Coffee and Social House. This airy, yet cosy, timber-framed post and beam restored barn on Main Street serves coffee and locally baked sweet treats from local french bakery Boulangerie La Vendéenne. Local foodie specialties including jams, jellies, and zucchini mustard pickle preserves are available for sale for home enjoyment. www.thebarncoffee.com
Pop into the Mahone Bay Museum and learn about the town’s first families, their eccentric superstitions, and Mahone Bay’s booming wooden shipbuilding industry that kept this town afloat. Admission is free of charge, but a small donation is appreciated. mahonebaymuseum.com
To check out more photos from our Mahone Bay Scarecrow Festival day, check out our Google Photo Album.