Scarecrow festival is a walk in the park

October 4th, 2018 9:11 PM

By Emma Connolly

Rita Ryan, Chairperson Leap Scarecrow Fesitval reading the latest news with the Southern Star scarecrow. Photo: Anne Minihane.

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A PICNIC park will be developed in Leap from the proceeds of the hugely popular, and annual Scarecrow Festival. 

Work is continuing against the clock to have major resurfacing works completed for the fourth annual event which attracts huge crowds to the village during what is the October mid-term school break. Rita Ryan, festival founder and organiser, explained how collections this October 27th and 28th, combined with money raised last year, would go towards developing the new picnic park.

‘We bought a strip of land from the Sacred Heart Fathers overlooking the water by Myross Wood and are clearing it and will install picnic tables and decking which will be accessible to all,’ she said. 

Meanwhile, scarecrow making workshops are taking place in the local hall every Tuesday from 6.30pm-9pm ahead of the festival, which this year will include street entertainment, face painting, a witches’ race and more. 

‘We got a €5,000 grant from the County Council which will allow us bring on board professional entertainers this year,’ said Rita, adding their aim was to make Leap the ‘spookiest village in the country’ this Hallowe’en. 

Entries (free of charge) to the scarecrow competition are being taken from October 20th-26th at the Post Office and Ger’s Diner, with judging taking place on the 27th when the fun gets underway. 

‘The scarecrows start going up on October 20th and coming down on November 5th,’ said Rita.

‘We are encouraging all schools, clubs, men’s sheds and businesses to get involved and enter,’ added the organiser. 

A stop/go system has been in place in Leap since early Summer. 

A Council spokesperson said: ‘Unforeseen significant drainage issues have, unfortunately, slowed progress to date. 

‘We expect completion before the end of October,’ the spokesperson added. 

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