It was yet another successful year for Festival Francais de Portarlington over the weekend of July 12 and 13, with organisers reporting a great turnout and solid support from local traders.
“The committee were overwhelmed with the crowds and so thankful for the wonderful support they received throughout the lead up and over the weekend of the event. We thought it would be very difficult to top last year, but we were absolutely amazed with the response,” said Mary Foy, the festival events coordinator.
The loss of a European Grant which came through Laois Partnership was a concern she said.
“We definitely missed that cushion which has been supporting us for a number of years” says Mary, but added that “tremendous support elsewhere was recognised this year and is visible through the festivals success”.
The committee express their thanks to Molson Coors, Laois County Council, Laois Tourism, Failte Ireland, Ray Cribben, wholesale suppliers, the traders and business people of Portarlington, for their extended support.
“Of course a very special thank you has to go to the people of Portarlington and surrounding areas, everyone who supported us in anyway over the coming weeks,” she added.
“The many tourists and emigrants who attended and returned this year just shows that the committee are delivering a Festival which encourages people to come back and it also brings new people to Portarlington year after year to join in on such a historical and festive occasion,” she said.
The festival weekend was in full throttle this year with street entertainment, market stalls, river activities, a fun train, snail eating competition, the Marathon des Escargots and a festival cycle.
The weekend events also included live music with headliners such as the Eskies, Hogan, Smash Hits who all received rave reviews from festival goers and for all the disappointed Garth Brooks fans a tribute band was there to ease their pain. The festival will be going international due to the presence of Sky channel (191) ‘Showcase’ which was on site over the weekend, the coverage will be televised in the coming weeks.
“I would like to personally thank the committee, this is a team event for us, we all work very hard to ensure the weekend is a success and we certainly set a new standard again for next year” said Mary Foy.