Stone the crows, these valley folk are creative

Hans and Claudia continue the tradition of round bale scarecrows at Imbil.
Hans and Claudia continue the tradition of round bale scarecrows at Imbil.

“Have you heard the one about the scarecrow who didn’t eat? He was already stuffed!”

Jokes aside, spring has sprung and scarecrow aficionados are wending their way to the Mary Valley in south-east Queensland for the annual influx of straw effigies vying for a cash prize in the annual Scarecrow Festival.

Scarecrows come out of winter hibernation on October 7 to appear on fields, hills and village streets.

The  best of them will be declared by judges on November 10 at the inaugural harvest dinner at Kandanga Farm Store.

Some will also hang around for the annual Mary River Festival at Kandanga on November 1.

Scarecrow spotting is a great game for visitors who travel the country roads from Conondale and Kenilworth through the Sunshine Coast hinterland north to Dagun near Gympie.

Up to 100 scarecrows can be seen in the most unexpected places so it’s a great excuse to pack a picnic and enjoy a lovely day out.

Locals will tell you the festival is all about fun. While a few scarecrows have a purpose in life – protecting crops by scaring away  birds – most are an excuse to give visual expression to the wry humour of the Mary Valley folk.

There’s a map to lead you down country loads and discover new places.

It’s not all about the navigation: you’re in the running to win $50 by taking a photo of yourself with as many scarecrows as possible in the valley between October 7 and November 11.

Post the selfies on the Mary Valley Scarecrow Festival Facebook page and hashtag #mvscarecrows.

Download the scarecrow maps at www.maryvalleyartslink.com.au

This story originally appeared on The Senior