For one Virginia farmer, the holidays mean an annual giant hay sculpture. This year, Beth Bays, owner of Buckscrape Farms in Huddleston has brought a little bit of Nashville to her community. Her hay bale sculpture is of country music superstar Willie Nelson, dubbed, “Will-Hay Nelson.” The town, which is about an hour outside of Roanoke, has been loving this year’s theme.
Bays 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 hay bale creations include characters from “The Wizard of Oz,” a drummer bear, a cow, an elephant, the Virginia Tech Hokie bird and characters from “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.”
“This one seems to be everyone’s favorite by far,” Bays told the 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 15-foot hay sculpture of Willie Nelson was less complicated to construct than past characters.
“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 singer in Texas might not seem like a holiday scene, it has taken center stage of an annual holiday tradition. Families have taken Christmas pictures in front of the Nelson sculpture, which are undoubtedly making memorable holiday cards. Apparently there are a lot of fans of the singer-songwriter up in Virginia. Local musician Dave Owens even writes songs each year to go along with Bays sculptures. This year he took a Willie Nelson classic and gave it a farm twist: “On The Farm Again.”