THE only crows that will be allowed into Durrow this week are the ones featured in Hugh Sheppard’s recently released book ‘Seanín Crow, Farmer John and the Durrow Scarecrows’. The village is awash with some of the most creative scarecrows any field has ever seen, and the crowds have been visiting the village all week to catch a glimpse of the many entries into the All Ireland Scarecrow Championships.
The Howya Festival has been taking place all week in the village and kicked off last Sunday in celebration of International Parents Day, with a large family gathering on the village green. All week workshops and demonstrations have been taking place, including flower arranging, rush work, the art of thatching, decoupage and card making, marquetry and wood inlay, hurley making and walking stick making.
For those at a loose end for the rest of this week, there is still plenty to do in Durrow, with some extra workshops, such as puppet and mask making over two days, African drumming, basket making, straw dolly craft, the history of bow making, traditional butter making. There will be a diverse range of events happening over the week, including a high nelly bicycle rally and a duck derby today (Wednesday), festival hurling and soccer tournaments, a Leafy Loop Walk as part of the Laois walks festival, a table quiz on Friday and a family fun cycle on Saturday.
The two-day open-air country market will take place over the bank holiday weekend with cookery demonstrations from Pat Carey from Doon House Cookery School on Saturday. On International Friendship Day on Sunday, July 31 the revealing of the winners of the scarecrow competition will be done in a lively village punctuated by the rhythm of Tupelo and the 2011 Young Voice of Laois winner Aine Delaney. As well as this, the Woodenbridge Paddlers will be hosting a canoe regatta.
The pubs in Durrow will have music and entertainment for the rest of the week as well, with music from Na Fianna, The Kilkennys and Shambles, as well as a wild west night and skittles and pool tournaments. For more details visit www.howya.ie.