Durrow Scarecrow Festival features a Harry Potter world this year, complete with a Hogwarts train...

Lynda Kiernan


Lynda Kiernan


The Durrow Scarecrow Festival is in full swing this week, and there is truly magic in the air for the crowds who have descended on the Laois village.

Nestled at the end of one street is a Hogwarts wonderland, with everything little wizards and witches could need.

There are scarecrows of Harry, Hermione, Ron, Hagrid, Dumbledore, dementors, a flying Harry on his broom, Dobby (you can bring a sock to give him) and Snape (sob), but the biggest attraction for many is the Hogwarts train with a bell to ring, as well as a luggage cart disappearing into a stone wall on Platform 9 3/4.

Other treasures to find include a house sorting wheel, a vegetable plot filled with Mandrakes, and nearby Durrow Pharmacy is transformed into a magic apothecary with a window filled with strange concoctions, while costumes are ready to try on for photos.

The festival is attracting thousands of visitors every day this week, coming in busloads, who are loving the 200 weird, wonderful and funny scarecrows all over the town, from Donald Trump to Sleeping Beauty, King Kong.

"We have a constant flow of people until 9pm or 10pm at night, the crowds are up this year, and the weather has been kind, we have been very lucky," said Durrow Development Forum chairperson Evelyn Clancy.

Prizes will be announced on Sunday afternoon at 4pm, while the fun continues until Monday evening.