HILLSIDE is bracing itself for an influx of visitors this weekend when its popular annual Scarecrow Festival gets under way.
The two-day competition last year attracted an entry of more than 70 scarecrows and around 800 people from as far afield as Dundee and Fife followed the Scarecrow Trail around the village.
Now in its fifth year, the festival is organised by the Hillside Scouts, Rainbows, Brownies and Hillside Playgroup. It was started four years ago by local woman Susan Coull who intended it to be a fund-raiser for Dorward House’s renovation and extension project.
The Hillside community got behind the idea and since then it has become too big for one person to organise. It has also been a successful fund-raiser in the past for the organising groups as well as the organisations which take stalls.
This year the trail promises to be just as challenging with clues to unravel as the route is followed, with one lucky child and adult winning the prizes for correctly deciphering the puzzle.
Those taking part can also vote for their favourite scarecrows, with the scarecrow with the most votes winning a prize.
Organisers have made sure that no-one will go astray as stewards will be on hand to make sure they stay on the right path as they follow the route.
As well as the fun of the Scarecrow Trail, there will be a host of activities in the village park throughout both days, between 10am and 4pm, including a barbecue, stalls with tea, coffee and home baking, a bouncy castle, a number of raffles and a golf chipping competition.
There will also be displays by a variety of local organisations including the Gordon School of Dancing.
On Saturday night the park will also be the venue for a marquee ceilidh costing £10 for adults, including stovies. Admission for children is free and tickets are available from the village post office.
Over the last few years the standard of entries for the competition has been extremely high, ranging from traditional scarecrows to more novel and elaborate tableaux in gardens around the village and the weekend promises fun for all the family.
Late entries are still being taken and the deadline is Saturday morning. Further details are available from committee member Stephen Valentine on Montrose 830494.