Designing custom shields at the Old Fort Quarter Festival 2017. Pic Denis Byrne.
The history and heritage of Portlaoise remains at the heart of the Old Fort Quarter Festival 2018.
This will be the third year of the festival which will be staged across Main Street, Church Avenue and Fitzmaurice Place in Portlaoise on June 22, 23, 24.
A number of different groups based in the town come together to make the Old Fort Festival the huge success it is.
One of the groups is Laois Heritage Society which puts on guided walking tours of the fort, unique children's entertainment, historic reenactments and much more.
Building on the success of the family events last year, this year, some of the new heritage events will include Ancient Music Ireland, Lord Edward’s Own Reenactment, Scotia Armour display and a unique medieval cooking display.
Last year’s family favourites including shield making, medieval hairstyles. Facepainting and Raven Haven Aviaries will be making a welcome return .
Sean Murray is one of the festival organisers responsible for heritage related events.
“After last year’s successful festival we sat down and thought about what really worked. We tried to bring acts that have been successful at other festivals around the country,” he said.
Lord Edward’s Own will be in Fitzmaurice Place on Saturday and Sunday and anyone will be welcome to go up and talk to them about guns, uniforms, history and more.
Last year they marched down Main Street and fired volleys into the air to signal the beginning of the Old Fort Quarter Festival.
It is a new addition to have them there on Saturday and Sunday.
Ancient Music Ireland is a brilliant new addition to the festival.
They bring brilliant iron age instruments which have been found in the bogs and recreated. People can play them and listen to the music while learning about the history of it. Ancient Music Ireland will be at the festival on the Saturday only from 12 to 6pm so make sure to catch them on the day.
Another fantastic new addition to the festival includes a medieval cooking demonstration showcasing methods of medieval cooking, the flavours and herbs that were used in the past.
There will be something for all interests and all ages at the Old Fort Quarter Festival 2018. Sean Murray said the history is at the heart of the festival.
“It is important and valued history of the town and it brings the past to life through costumes, reenactments, storytelling, armour displays, shield making, cooking and hairstyles. It is all about the family fun for kids and adults,” he said.
All of the family heritage events are free to attend and take part in except shield making where a small fee is required to cover the cost of materials.
The Old Fort Quarter Festival is sponsored by Rockshore Irish Lager and is supported by the Laois Partnership. Further details about the festival are available on the website: www.oldfortquarter.ie. The Leinster Express is local media sponsor.