Portlaoise summer street festival back with a bang and bigger than ever

The Old Fort Quarter Festival returns to main street this June

Michelle Hogan

Reporter:

Michelle Hogan

Email:

michelle.hogan@iconicnews.ie

Portlaoise summer street festival back with a bang and bigger than ever

Vincent O'Brien, Michelle De Forge, Barbara Brown, Michael Parsons, Sean Murray, Teddy Fennelly and PJ Kavanagh launching the summer festival with soldiers Éamon Dunne, Barry Walsh and Gerry Brennan.

The Old Fort Quarter Festival is back in Portlaosie this June with a brand new food festival and heritage events.

The streets of Portlaoise will come to life this June with the Old Fort Quarter Festival making a welcome return for its second year celebrating the towns historic past.

The family friendly weekend has expanded to cater for even more tastes with a brand new Street Stall Food Festival with a variety of world cuisines from Hungarian to Mexican and local producers.

Barbara Brown from Brown’s Vineyard who has organised the food festival emphasised the importance of supporting local enterprise.

“We have lots of local food producers on hand and these guys all need our support,” she said.

Another new element of the Old Fort Quarter Festival this year is a display of family orientated events and activities based on heritage from medieval shield making for children and medieval hair styles for children to interactive medieval armour displays in Gaelic and Tudor style.

Raven Haven Aviaries will have a bird display at Fitzmaurice’s Square and regular walking tours of the Fort will be carried out over the Saturday and Sunday.

The family fun does not stop there with street theatre and art workshops running across the weekend.

There will be storytellers and puppet shows, magicians, clowns, acrobats, face painters, drumming workshops, pavement art, stilt-walkers and a range of costumed crazy characters about town.

One of the biggest highlights of the festival is the live music on Main Street from a number of top acts.

“This year the Old Fort Quarter Festival brings a fantastic mix of music to the Portlaoise Town Centre with something for everyone all over the three nights of the festival,” said PJ Kavanagh of Kavanagh’s Bar & Venue, one of the committee members for the festival.

Current chart toppers Chasing Abbey are set to kick off the festival with a bang on the Friday night with one of the biggest anthems of 2017 'That Good Thing'.

Last year’s festival favourites Transmitter and Pogueology return to headline their respective nights while Electric Picnic stalwarts Smash Hits close out the festival on the Sunday night.

The best of local music will also be a highlight of the weekend with James O’Connor & The Friendly Strangers, Strength in Numbers, The Valves and The Fanzines all taking to the stage.

The festival takes place across the weekend of June 23rd, 24th and 25th.

The Old Fort Quarter Festival draws its title and theme from the little known, but fascinating history of the original ‘Fort of Maryborough’.

The history embedded in this festival dates back to 1547AD when the town of Maryborough (Portlaoise) developed around the Fort and the celebrations aim to bring awareness to the history of the area for generations to come.

More information about the events can be found on the Old Fort Quarter Facebook Page.

Read about last years festival here