The Mary Valley is turning tradition on its ear this year with the annual Scarecrow Festival about to kick off on September 15.
While scarecrows are traditionally stuffed straw figures whose purpose is to keep the birds away from the crops, Mary Valley residents want to use the ‘crows to bring visitors to the valley – as many as we can get!
The stuffed figures will be popping up on country roads and busy streets for the official festival from September 15-October 28.
Anyone can join in but remember that registered scarecrows are the only ones eligible for the judging competition. Registrations open on August 15 and scarecrows should be up on September 15.
You can choose to make a traditional ‘crow, or enter something extraordinary in the artistic category. There is also a children’s category for five to 15-year-old scarecrow creators.
Coordinator Heinke Butt said about 100 scarecrows were entered in last year’s festival and to encourage more participation, organisers are holding workshops at valley schools to teach the ancient art of making a scarecrow.
It’s not as difficult as you may think. You can make a simple “skeleton” from two wooden pieces like broomsticks by binding them together to form a cross. Use a pillowcase or a pumpkin or similar for a head (remember that a pumpkin will shrink over time). Paint a face and put head on the top of the cross.
For hands and legs put a shirt over your cross-shaped frame and use gloves for hands or tie the ends of the sleeves so the stuffing will stay inside. Put the pants on and leave enough wood at the bottom of the leg to stake your scarecrow in the ground. Tie the legs.
Traditionally stuffing is made of straw or hay, but you can use clothing, plastic bags or even newspapers.
Stuff the pants first, tuck the shirt in, button and zip the pants. Tie rope or twine around the waist to act as a belt. Stuff the shirt arms first, then the rest of the torso.
Then accessorise to your heart’s content.
Find out more by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.scarecrows.org.au You can pick up a registration form from the following locations: Conondale Shop, Kenilworth Information Centre, Ridges Shop at Poulson Road, Mary Valley Traders (hardware store) at Imbil, Kandanga Information Centre, Amamoor Shop, and Dagun Railway Station.
2012 Scarecrow Festival
September 15 - October 28th
Related News: Sneak preview of Mary Valley scarecrow entries
, Mary Valley
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