Straw stars to shine at Underwood festival

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Straw-stuffed stars will be lining village streets and keeping a close eye over gardens this weekend as an annual festival gets underway.

The Underwood Scarecrow Festival is now in its seventh year and dozens of stationary celebrities are expected to be on show for three days.

This year’s theme is Shakespeare - to mark what would be his 450th birthday - so some imaginative literature lovers have been busy stitching together characters from some of the bard’s most famous plays, including Romeo and Juliet.

Penny Fell, who organises the event with friend Rachel Lake, said: “There’s about 35 around the village, some of them are doing Shakespeare, and some are doing puns on Shakespeare.

“They are brilliant and a lot of people put a lot of effort in each year for this, some make scenes, not just one scarecrow - they love doing it, we call them ‘scarecrowers’.

“It’s a great family day out and we usually get plenty of people visiting Underwood.

“We are just praying for good weather and plenty of people!”

Open from this Saturday, 24th May, to the bank holiday Monday, it is based at St Michael’s Church where visitors can buy a map and guide to all of the scarecrows, a quiz sheet and enjoy a barbecue each day.

The money raised will be split between St Michael’s Church and the local charity, Theo’s Wish to Walk, which is fundraising for three-year-old Underwood boy Theo Hunt who suffers from cerebral palsy.