Portlaoise set to party
It’s going to be a great St Patrick’s Day Festival in Portlaoise this year say the organisers who have given a Community Spirit theme to this year's event.
The festivities kick off in a very active way with the Streets of Portlaoise Road races hosted by the Portlaoise Athletic club and sponsored by People First Credit Union. The event gets underway at 11am.
A vintage vehicle run preceeds the main parade which kicks off at 12:30pm from the County Hall and takes the same route as last year – down the Link road to the Church and then up the Main Street to the Top Square where the viewing stand will be. It will then continue up Grattan Street to the Pickup point at Centrepoint on the Mountrath Road.
From 2pm-5pm there will be a big street festival – bouncing castles, disco domes, face painters, and sports skills on show. Wristbands, costing €3 per child, will allow kids use of the bouncing castles, face painters, disco domes and the disco in Coppers from 2pm - 6pm.
Portlaoise Panthers Basketball club are bringing back the Duck Race in the Triogue at 2pm – great fun for all to see whose duck will be first past the post.
In the Lower Square there will have bouncy castles, face painting, and Dancing in the Square. The Ricky Lawless and Grainne Buggy schools of dancing will lead the crowds in some traditional Irish dancing at 2:15. Afterwards we will have live bands playing to keep the festival vibe going.
Tea and coffee will be available from PATH on the street. There will also have a wristband seller in the old O’Loughlin’s chemist from 10:30am that morning and there will be tea and coffee available from there also.
Sports clubs from Portlaoise will give you a chance to hone your skills on the day.
There will be ice-cream and treats, craft stalls and this will be the hub of the Busking competition as well. Buskers are invited to come and play for the judges with a €100 prize fo rhte winner.
There will be a giant marquee we will have music on the Top Square. The Tug of War is also back again this year.
"We could do none of this without the help and support of the businesses and people of Portlaoise. Your support has been invaluable over the years – and we would encourage you all to get out and support your local businesses that have supported us in making this festival happen," say the organisers.
After the parade is done and dusted we will have our awards night in the Dunamase Arts Centre on Monday, April 3 at 8pm. This will celebrate all who have helped out for the parade and prizes will be awarded to the best entrants across several categories.