‘Ready to ‘wrap’: ‘Stylish Silage’ competition stages a return

Drumshanbo’s ‘Stylish Silage’ competition is back this year with more entries and additional prize money, according to ‘An Tostal’ festival chairman Hugh James Gallagher.

Last year’s inaugural event proved a “huge success”, harnessing local creativity and boosting the local economy, he said.


“Drumshanbo is the only place in the country that has kept An Tostal going every year since 1953.

“We have a very good committee that is always looking for new ideas and, after visiting the Durrow Scarecrow Festival in Laois, we wondered what we could do to bring more people into the area,” recalled Hugh James.

“Being in rural Ireland, we have lots of round bales around us, so we came up with the idea of a ‘Stylish Silage’ competition to draw people into Drumshanbo for the week of the festival.

We encouraged people to decorate their bales and we got a huge response. Everyone got on board: children; adults; and local organisations and clubs.

“The standard of entries was very high and the designs attracted a lot of people into the area. Local businesses reported an upturn in takings and overall the festival was a great success.”

This year’s festival will take place from July 1 to 7 and Mayo-based business McHale is the competition sponsor.


The top prize is €300 cash and a €200 McHale voucher. Entries must be registered with Hugh James before work takes place to avoid duplication. The closing date for completion of entries is June 30 at 12:00pm.

The return of the competition is generating a real buzz around the area, Hugh James said.

“Last year we had 50 entries; already we have 30 registered,” he said. “The ‘Stylish Silage’ wrap party will take place on July 7 for the closing of the festival, and the judges will submit the 10 finalists for a public vote.”

The festival will be opened by writer Michael Harding and will incorporate a whole range of activities from a stunt motorbike show with Mattie Griffiths to Drumshanbo Gunpowder Irish gin tastings.

In addition, there will be: children’s shows; art classes; fishing; a ‘fun day by the lake’ and charity events. Murrays’ Amusements will also be in town all week.

An Tostal

An Tostal Festival was inaugurated in 1953 to depict the varied aspects of Irish life and culture throughout the country.