SCARY: The 2015 Mary Valley Scarecrow Festival artistic winner The Dear Crow Glen II by Crystal Aylmer will be hard to beat this year.
SCARY: The 2015 Mary Valley Scarecrow Festival artistic winner The Dear Crow Glen II by Crystal Aylmer will be hard to beat this year. Contributed

Scarecrow season kicks off in the Mary Valley

MARY Valley crafters are searching their cupboards for old clothes and recycling items as scarecrow season officially opens this week.

A Sunshine Coast bus company has already booked a tour to the Noosa hinterland popularly known as Mary Valley Country, and organisers of the annual festival have put out the call for scarecrows on every street corner.

It doesn't take long for the gangly 'crows to come out of the hills and sheds after a cold winter, in preparation for protecting the spring crops from unofficial harvesting by the odd feathered friend.

Registrations open this week for the festival, with scarecrows on display from October 21 to November 12. Winners will be presented with their cash prizes at harvest dinner on November 19, a special event being planned by the auspicing organisation Mary Valley Artslink.

Long-time festival volunteer Lyn Hughes encouraged valley visitors to take a selfie with a 'crow when they come "scarecrow spotting”.

If they hashtag #mvscarecrows, organisers will post it on their Facebook page Mary Valley Scarecrow Festival.

"Let's see who gets the most likes!” Mrs Hughes said. "The person with the most selfies with different scarecrows can win $50 as well.”

The festival is designed to encourage people to plan a day out in Mary Valley Country, and see if they can find the variety of serious and not-so-serious straw creations along the way. Once all scarecrows are registered, a Google map can be downloaded to let you know where all the entries are.

Each town chooses their finalists, which are then judged against each town in the Mary Valley in three categories with cash prizes: Child (5-15 years) $50, traditional (T-shape skeleton and straw body) $100, and artistic (anything that is an original idea) $100.

From small square bales of hay to the oversized round bales once stacked three high to create the popular Heidi in 2004, locals are encouraged to find old clothes, timber strips for frames and any other items which they can recycle into a scarecrow.

Scarecrows are about creating a farmer look-a-like in the crops to keep the birds away but they also mark the arrival of spring when we can look forward to a burst of nature after winter, Mrs Hughes said.

"We encourage an element of creative licence, and often humour is the best aspect of our scarecrow entries.”

Inquiries to Lyn Hughes on 0409 382868 or email info@scarecrows.org.au

You can find the festival on Facebook or visit www.maryvalleyartslink.com.au

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