Bales will be dressed to impress for stylish silage contest

A ‘stylish silage’ competition has caught the imagination of the people of Drumshanbo, Co. Leitrim, and further afield.

Held as part of An Tostal festival, which will run from July 2 to 8, it aims to spark people’s creativity, posing the question ‘Can you make the cut?’

Those who take up the challenge will be in with a chance to win cash prizes for the best painted or sculpted bales. The overall winner will be presented with €300; the runner-up will receive €200; and the third prize is €100.

The closing date is July 1, and the winner will be announced the following day, after An Tostal parade. The theme of the parade is ‘superheroes’, and the official opening will be performed by disability rights activist, Joanne O’Riordan.

Hugh James Callaghan, who chairs An Tostal festival committee, said he was inspired to incorporate a colourful new event after a visit to the Scarecrow Festival in Durrow, Co. Laois.

“We thought the scarecrow festival was a great idea and was really successful as a visitor draw.

An Tostal has been running in Drumshanbo every year since 1953, and the committee wanted to introduce something different.

“After discussions, we came up with the idea of a stylish silage contest.

“We have a very creative committee here, and we ran vintage events in the past. We also organise Drumshanbo’s ‘Haunted House’ every Halloween, which attracts over 3,500 people.”

A snowman has made an unseasonal appearance in Drumshanbo, as part of the competition, and the organisers are expecting many more quirky characters to be entered.

Other festival events include ‘farmyard in your schoolyard,’ and a motorbike and BMX show on the Sunday afternoon. That evening there will also be a Joe Dolan tribute show by Paschal Brennan and his seven-piece band at 7:00pm.

Other highlights include a cookery demonstration by TV3 chef Adrian Martin in Lough Allen Hotel on Wednesday, July 5, at 8:30pm.

Hypnotist Adrian Knight will entertain on Friday, July 7, at 8:00pm.

The festival will wrap up on Saturday, July 8, with a family fun day by the lake and a performance by Jimmy Buckley at 9:00pm.

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