Every July, giant crows descend upon a field in Moulton, England. Once there, they circle around a scarecrow, flapping their wings and performing a choreographed dance.
Except, the crows aren’t crows at all—they’re anonymous villagers dressed in black costumes, complete with a beak sewn onto their face masks. Their dance is the highlight of the annual Moulton Crow Fair.
The crow dance is believed to have started in the 1920s, when local men were laid off from the salt works. To earn money, some of the men formed a troupe, choreographed the crow dance, and set off traveling at fairs across the county.
The dance continues today, though now it’s performed for fun rather than fees. The participants, donning their traditional crow attire, dance around a person dressed as a scarecrow. Then, a farmer enters the scene, pretending to shoot and kill one of the crows. The undeterred birds continue scavenging the grounds until it’s time for them to make their exit, at which time the scarecrow comes to life and follows them off the field.
There’s more to the Moulton Crow Fair than just the dance. You can also find games, a maypole dance, live music, and various stalls selling trinkets and treats.
Know Before You Go
The fair is held every July. The whole event is family-friendly and free to attend.