Scarecrow spotting could be the best remedy for people looking to escape the life-disrupting influence of Covid-19.
The straw creatures are leaving the hills to take up residence in the Mary Valley and they want you to come and see them.
Social distancing is easy because they are usually solitary additions in their yards and paddocks.
The annual Mary Valley Scarecrow Festival is a popular Sunshine Coast event that can easily go ahead and it kicks off on 5 September.
Visitors are encouraged to plan a trip to the Mary Valley to see a few scarecrows, try out the new cafes in Imbil and watch the steam train roll in to Amamoor and Dagun.
The Mary Valley Scarecrow Festival finishes on 3 October.
For locals, there’s a new category for entries. Get creative and build your Pro Crow from scrap metal or any other durable recycled items.
These quality scarecrows need to be oversized, and original, and there is prize money for the three best scarecrows.
The Pro Crows will become part of an installation art trail through the Mary Valley. As usual, other categories are child, traditional and artistic.
Visitors can arm themselves with a Google map to find the scarecrows during the festival, or you can take potluck and meander down country roads to find them.
The festival began in Maleny and has been held during spring almost every year since the late ‘90s.
You can expect to find scarecrows from Kenilworth in the south and throughout the Mary Valley via Brooloo, Imbil, Kandanga, Amamoor, and Dagun.
It is one of two festivals – the other is the Mary Valley Art Festival – hosted by the community group, Mary Valley Artslink.
To enter a scarecrow, contact Nelson 0433 155345 or Heinke 0419 024291 for more information, visit maryvalleyartslink.com.au for entry forms, or find the Mary Valley Scarecrow Festival on Facebook.
Entries must be in by September 1 and scarecrows should be displayed from September 5.
Registration centres: Kenilworth/Carters Ridge/Ridgewood – Kenilworth Information Centre 5446 0122; Imbil/Brooloo – Mary Valley Traders 5484 5178; Kandanga/Amamoor/Dagun – Kandanga Farm Store 5484 3771.