Disappointment as huge Laois festival cancelled

Lynda Kiernan

Reporter:

Lynda Kiernan

The Durrow Scarecrow Festival in Laois this August has been cancelled.

The Durrow Scarecrow Festival in Laois this August has been cancelled.

A huge Laois festival held every August that attracts thousands of visitors from all over Ireland has been cancelled.

The Durrow Scarecrow Festival made their announcement last Saturday not to hold the 10th festival due to Covid-19.

"It is with huge regret that a decision must be taken for the safety of all not to hold the 2020 Durrow Scarecrow Festival. We have looked into this extensively and following Government/HSE guidelines, research and various discussions over the past few weeks we have had to come to this very difficult decision. We would like to thank everybody for their support over the past ten years and we will look forward to seeing you next year for an even better festival," they said.

Fans are disappointed but supportive.

"Devestated at this news but we totally understand that this is a necessity to keep everyone safe.
We travel up every year from cork and we will be bitterly disappointed to miss it. We will look forward to 2021
Stay safe everyone ❤," one commented.

"What a shame the Scarecrow Festival 2020 won't take place. Every year it gets better and better. 2021 though will be YOUR BEST YEAR YET .... best wishes to all," another supporter said.

Below: A scene from the 2019 Durrow Scarecrow festival taken by Alf Harvey.

The festival proceeds were to go to creating a community hall in the village. The committee are instead asking people to donate to the fund.

They are asking people to donate the €4 they would have paid to enjoy the fun in the Scarecrow Village section.

"No festival this year and we are starting to fundraise to match fund a grant received for stage two of our community hall! Our Festival as most of you will know is a huge fundraiser for projects within our community. If you can assist, please do, any amount would be so much appreciated. We are in this together and will look forward to seeing you all in 2021! We are so much already looking forward to same!

"We would LOVE if you would LOVE to donate to our cause and if you can’t, don’t worry, but obviously your donation would be huge for us. Entry for adults to our Scarecrow Village is €4 and we would love if you could make this contribution to our build and become part of our building team! (The contribution will cost you €4.40 as Go Fund Me Takes 10%, they will try and take 15% but just click on 10%). If you can become part of our building team then thank you and absolutely fantastic!" they said.

"We have secured a grant of €200,000 to complete phase two of the build but we need to raise another €200,000 to match fund this grant and complete this stage of the project.  Loosing the festival this year is a huge loss to us and we need to fundraise in other ways," they said.

"We will be back for 2021 and will do our best to have our community centre built and open for all of you to enjoy same. We would like to thank everybody for their support over the past ten years and we will look forward to seeing you next year for an even better festival," the committee say.

See their gofundme page here.