There’s a strawman waiting in the rye

SPOOKY, spectacular and downright scary scarecrows have been popping up all over the rolling landscapes of Newtownstewart… But there is one particular slippery strawman that has been rather elusive over the last number of weeks.

Folks… Meet Sammy the Scarecrow.

Designed and built by Shauneen Kilpatrick from the Two Castles Community and Development Association in celebration of Halloween, Sammy was moved to a different location each day, which ignited the imagination of local children who took to the great outdoors to search for him and get their photos taken with him over their Halloween holidays.


“The town was buzzing,” described Ethna Conway, member of the Two Castles.

“What an important guy Sammy the Scarecrow was. The children just loved him.

“They really enjoyed going out and looking for him every day, and the parents were so pleased and appreciated the idea as it kept their children busy for a week when they were off school.”

What’s more, on Sunday, the eagerly-awaited wedding of ‘Sammy the Scarecrow’ to his beautiful bride ‘Sadie’ took place.

“This saw all the children come out in Halloween fancy dress to celebrate the the new ‘Mr and Mrs Sammy Scarecrow’,” Ethna said. “Each child got a pumpkin and a goodie bag.”

Seventy-three scarecrows
And while Sammy became something of an unlikely celebrity across the bustling village of Newtownstewart over the haunting holidays, the Two Castles had also called on locals to build scarecrows of their very own to display over Halloween weekend.

Bales, creativity and craftsmanship at the ready, their call was answered, and villagers created an impressive 73 scarecrows, each bringing light, love and laughter to their rural pockets of Tyrone.

“When we first thought about running a ‘Scarecrow Trail’ over the Halloween weekend, we assumed we’d get 20 scarecrows, or less,” Ethna recalled. “But how wrong we were.

“Our call for support was answered, and the response from the good people of Newtownstewart and the country folk went way beyond our expectations.

“The scarecrow builders’ imagination and craftsmanship has shone through, with 73 amazing displays that have taken up residence throughout the town and the rural countryside.”

Ethna concluded by expressing a massive ‘thank you’ to all scarecrow builders who brightened up Halloween, and to everyone who supported the events.
She further added a word of appreciation and thanks to John Gallagher for his support, and to Shauneen Kilpatrick for all her hidden work and the beautiful displays she created.

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The Strabane Chronicle is published by North West of Ireland Printing & Publishing Company Limited, trading as North-West News Group.
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