County abuzz with bank holiday events

Portlaoise offers a bouquet of family entertainment this June Bank Holiday weekend, while there is sure to be a good buzz in Mountmellick for the town’s Summerfest.

Portlaoise offers a bouquet of family entertainment this June Bank Holiday weekend, while there is sure to be a good buzz in Mountmellick for the town’s Summerfest.

The Rose of Tralee Regional Final, Gordon Bennett Classic Car Run, Laois Fleadh and the Downtown Portlaoise Street Market Festival all take place, so park up and enjoy the fun.

It is the final year for the Roses regional in Portlaoise, with 59 ladies arriving on Wednesday for a whirlwind of calls to schools and attractions over four days, as they take part in selection nights in the Heritage Hotel, so keep an eye out and cheer on Laois Rose Ailbhe Culleton.

County Hall is the place to be on Friday at 7.30pm for the car run launch, a must for vintage car fans.

The Downtown Street Market opens on Saturday from 10.30am in Fitzmaurice Place, with over 50 stalls offering crafts and food.

Live music from local bands includes The Inbetween, Troubadour, The Crooked Jacks, Cua, Tumbleweed and Highly Strung.

Musicians taking part in the Laois Fleadh, hosted by Portlaoise Comhaltas will busk throughout the market, as they compete for the national final, in the ETB buildings at Railway Street and Tower Hill.

On Saturday at 1.30pm the Rose contestants will parade down Main St with their local rosebuds in Gordon Bennett vintage cars, led by Laois Rose Ailbhe Culleton. The Roses will do a meet and greet from 2:30pm, so come down to meet the girls.

On Sunday, the market opens in Main Street at 11am, with live music and Zumba dancers adding to the fun.

The Gordon Bennett Classic Car Run will tour Laois over the weekend, with an afternoon of barbecue and music in Sheeran’s pub Coolrain. There will be a bucket collection to raise funds for Nepal on Saturday afternoon.

The Laois Fleadh runs all week in Portlaoise with a huge Ceili on Sunday at the Macra na Feirme Hall from 3 to 6pm, all welcome.

Not to be outdone, Mountmellick will celebrate their third Summerfest Street Festival, starting on Friday at 6.30 in O’Connell Square with a family treasure hunt.

A 80’s street party on Saturday runs from 2pm to 6pm, with live music, old style games, craft stalls, a dog show, a Barman race, pavement art competition and fancy dress.

On Sunday the fun moves to O’Connell Square from 2pm to 7pm, with Abbeyfolk followed by 80’s tribute band The Funk Family.

Child wristbands at €5 ensure unlimited fun on bouncy castles, the Play Bus, face painting and clown Jeca. A raffle offers top prize of a pair of Electric Picnic tickets while Bubble Soccer offers fun in Mountmellick Community Centre from 3.30-5.30pm,

See more in Stage Left.