As with many Yorkshire Dales activities, it was a fundraising event organised by a band of enthusiastic volunteers who wanted to raise funds for the local primary school.
In 1994 local residents were encouraged to make scarecrows that showed their profession. I, and many others, still remember the first time we saw the electrician scarecrow precariously balanced on his ladder, with sparks coming out of the fuse box.
Unsurprisingly the event was a great success, and has taken place every year since. The Scarecrow Festival has raised tens of thousands of pounds for community projects, the school, church and village hall.
There are now around 100 carefully made scarecrows, often with humorous sometimes risqué touches. It's clear that there's some competition between villagers and a lot of pride in the making of the figures. One year the vicar created a Ziggy Stardust set, which even had a sound system rigged up next to it.
A trail clue sheet costs just £1 so visiting the Kettlewell Scarecrow Festival is amazing value for money as well as something the whole family can do together. It will also encourage you to find some of Kettlewell's more hidden corners - it really is a stunning Dales village in a fantastic setting.
This year the theme looks at personalities and news stories from 1994. How many do you remember? There's a special children's trail, using the original clues from the first themed trail based around nursery rhymes.
Once you've enjoyed the trail, make sure you pop into the Village Hall for an amazing selection of homemade cakes. Kettlewell Scarecrow Festival runs from 10th to 18th August. Thanks to Saul at the excellent Kettlewell Hostel for image of the elephant, showing just how much effort people put into making these 'scarecrows'.