Now that spring is here, there’s an influx of straw creatures around the hills of the Mary Valley, South-East Queensland, all vying for a cash prize in the annual Mary Valley Scarecrow Festival.
Scarecrows come out of hiding on October 7, and will guard farm gates and village shops until the judges reveal the best of them on November 10 at the inaugural “harvest dinner” at Kandanga Farm Store. Some will even hang around for the Mary River Festival in Kandanga on November 11.
The scarecrow festival is great fodder for ‘crow spotting, the fun game for visitors who travel country roads looking for straw creatures, arty sculptures and other creations honouring the tradition of building scarecrows. There’s a map to lead you down country roads and discover new places. But It’s not all about the navigation: You can win $50 by taking a photo of yourself with as many scarecrows as possible in the Mary Valley between October 7 and November 11. Post the selfies on the Mary Valley Scarecrow Festival Facebook page and hashtag #mvscarecrows
You can find scarecrows from Conondale and Kenilworth through the Sunshine Coast hinterland north to Dagun, near Gympie. It’s a great excuse to pack a picnic and tour through Mary Valley Country. The locals will tell you that it’s all about fun. A few crows have a distinct purpose in life, carrying on as their forebears did, protecting crops by scaring away the birds. But others are just there to dress up the paddocks and maybe even share the wry humour of the country folk who live in the Mary Valley all year round. It’s how they deal with the seasons of country life – flood, drought and everything in between. And even better, making scarecrows doesn’t cost an arm and a leg! You usually have the bones of a scarecrow in the shed – a broomstick, a bale of hay and some old clothes. The scarecrow map was uploaded to Google in October, so you can plan your self-drive tour.
Location: Conondale and Kenilworth through the Sunshine Coast hinterland north to Dagun, near Gympie., Mary Valley
Phone: Lyn Hughes on 0409 382868