By the time most motorists in downtown St. Marys see a scarecrow in the median on Osborne Street holding a sign urging them to slow down, it’s already a done deal.

By then motorists have already passed dozens of eye-catching scarecrows in the median in front of St. Marys Elementary School and on school property. And they’re moving at a crawl to look at the creative and humorous ways people depict autumn.

It doesn’t get any less distracting and entertaining as they get closer to the St. Marys waterfront. The participants responsible for erecting the scarecrows include schools, businesses, nonprofits and, with elections around the corner, candidates seeking public office.

Residents who have already seen the scarecrows and drive by them daily can have their patience tested when they are following a distracted driver traveling at snail’s pace for a closer look.

A better option for visitors is to park anywhere along the route and leisurely stroll along the six-block route from St. Marys Elementary School to the St. Marys River and several blocks along the waterfront. There are plenty of scarecrows in the median that need a different vantage point from the other side of the road to make a round trip worthwhile.

There are local businesses including restaurants, gift shops, antique stores and book stores along the route for those looking for a break from walking.

The annual scarecrow stroll which attracts an estimated 5,000 children, many dressed in halloween costumes, has been canceled this year because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

But organizers are still encouraging people to come to town, check out the scarecrows and stop into some of the local businesses downtown.

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