Pics: Community key to Durrow Scarecrow Festival 2018

Plenty of hilarious agriculture-themed constructions were on display in a highly-varied selection of scarecrows and attractions at this year’s Durrow Scarecrow Festival in Co. Laois.

With everything from ‘Hay.I. Man’ to ‘Holy Cow’ structures on exhibition, there was a healthy agriculture element to the fore at the midlands based event – something which was only to be expected given its agricultural inspiration in the humble scarecrow.

Even ‘The Pope’ himself made a guest appearance in a ‘Pope Mobile’ at the week-long occasion, giving out Latin blessings at the touch of a button.

Unsurprisingly, this fabrication was among the winning entries, taking home the joint top prize for the overall scarecrow competition.

The other big winner at the event was the equally-impressive ‘Scarecrow Electric Picnic’, which comprised a centre stage, an ‘RTE 2FM Roadcaster’, hotdog and chip booths and a range of music fans.

 The event, which concluded yesterday (Monday, August 6), kicked off on July 29 in Durrow, Co. Laois. Now in its ninth year of existence, the Durrow Scarecrow Festival hosts the All-Ireland Scarecrow Championship.

As well as proving to be a popular attraction, drawing large crowds throughout the week to the midlands town, the festival also aims to promote community involvement.

Commenting on the event, secretary of the festival organising committee Emer O’Brien said: “Our goal every year is to make the festival a little bit different, so we did achieve that. It’s a community-run festival with all volunteers so we’ve always continued to do that, and everybody seems to have been happy.

“Obviously the weather is a bonus because the footfall was higher but everything seems to have gone well as far as we can see.

It was a joint winner; they both had the same marking – when the judges sat down they couldn’t pick one!

“Every entry is marked on different categories so they decided on a joint overall winner, which was the Pope Mobile and the Scarecrow Electric Picnic.”

On community involvement, Emer said: “The community, the local farming community give us their fields to use for free parking and straw and hay; both churches, the Church of Ireland and the Catholic Church, give us free parking, the schools give us parking, all of that.

“The full community comes on board and I think that’s what makes it so successful.”

Below are a selection of photos from the event, with entries from everyone from Laois Kayak and Canoe Club to the local Macra branch, Durrow-Abbeyleix Macra na Feirme.