Bumper bank
holiday weekend

Clr. John Bonham ( Chairman , Laois Co. Council )  leads the Roses in song  at the Official Launch of the Rose of Tralee  Regional Finals 2012 at Civic Plaza , Portlaoise , on Friday .                 Photo: Michael Scully - no reproduction fee .
The June Bank Holiday weekend is shaping up to be a bumper weekend of festivals and festivities across Laois.

The June Bank Holiday weekend is shaping up to be a bumper weekend of festivals and festivities across Laois.

Over 60 Roses from across the globe will begin to descend on Portlaoise this week for the Rose of Tralee Regional Finals, which will take place in Portlaoise over the weekend.

As it’s the year of The Gathering, the regional finals will be bigger and better than ever. Roses will begin to arrive as early as Wednesday, and on Thursday night you can party with the Roses at a street disco in the Top Square, Portlaoise from 7.30pm to 9.30pm, with the Roses arriving at 8pm.

On Friday, the official opening will take place on Civic Plaza at County Hall. The main attraction every year is Saturday’s Vintage Car Rose Parade from the Plaza through the town and street entertainment. See pages 47-50 for full lineup of Rose Events.

Ratheniska CCE host the Fleadh/Gathering in Stradbally this weekend, with the support of Laois CCE County Board.

The Fleadh kicks off on Friday evening with figure dancing and set dancing in Ratheniska Community Hall. The venue for the competition is St Coleman’s NS in Stradbally. There is also a good line up of traditional music and dancing in Market Square on Saturday and Sunday, weather permitting.

They are ‘Bringing them home’ for the BallyroanAbbey GAA Gathering which takes place on Sunday. The day commences at 2pm in the GAA Grounds with a series of Juvenile football matches - all competing for the McEvoy Cup in memory of the late Micheal McEvoy, Clonbrin. There will be lots of entertainment and activities for all the family throughout the day.

At 6pm, the BallyroanAbbey Senior team will line out, with some former members returning from abroad, to compete for the Scully Cup in memory of the late Dick Scully.

The Gordon Bennett Vintage Car Run will also be making its way around the county on Sunday. Participants will drive the original Gordon Bennett Route of 104 miles, starting out from Treacy’s on the Heath and finishing at The Gandon Inn.

On Saturday, there will be a run covering the Laois Heritage Trail. Assembly at Treacy’s, The Heath, Portlaoise.