For one Virginia farmer, the holidays mean an annual 15-foot-tall hay sculpture. Last year, Huddleston native Beth Bays, owner of Buckscrape Farms, brought a little bit of Nashville to her community. Her hay bale sculpture was of country singer Willie Nelson, dubbed, "Will-Hay Nelson." And she totally nailed his iconic pigtail braids. The town, which is about an hour outside of Roanoke, really got a kick out of the theme.
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Hays first got into her sculptures as a contestant in the hay bale decorating contest thrown by the Bedford Farm Bureau Young Farmers. After the contest stopped a few years back, she kept creating because the town loved her ideas. Past sculptures include characters from The Wizard of Oz, a drummer bear, a cow, an elephant, the Virginia Tech Hokie bird mascot, and characters from Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.
"This one seems to be everyone's favorite by far," Bays told the news outlet Richmond Times Dispatch. "My cousin joked that I might have to quit now because I'll never be able to top this."
The farmer also said that she couldn't have created the "On The Road Again" country singer without help from her community. Apparently, the giant hay bale sculpture of Willie Nelson was less complicated to construct than past hay replicas.
"The basic shape was easy and only took three bales to do," Bays said. "However, there was a lot of detail work with sculpting the arms out of chicken wire and making the guitar from a huge piece of Styrofoam I came across a few years ago and saved in my barn. I also had to make a nose out of chicken wire because Willie has a very prominent nose and I wanted to get that right."
While an outlaw country music legend in Texas might not seem like a holiday scene, it somehow works. holiday tradition. Taking advantage of the annual event, local families have made it a holiday tradition to taken Christmas pictures in front of the hay sculptures, which undoubtedly make memorable holiday cards.
Hays also told The Associated Press that each year everyone sings songs together related to the theme. Local musician Dave Owens even writes songs each year to go along with her sculptures. Last year he took one of Willie Nelson's songs and gave it a farm twist: "On The Farm Again."