St Patrick's Day Festival in Portlaoise is happening come snow or sunshine

Lynda Kiernan

Reporter:

Lynda Kiernan

Portlaoise GAA Juveniles in the Portlaoise St. Patrick's Day parade.Picture: Alf Harvey/hrphoto.ie

On parade in Portlaoise.

The weather may be chilly but Portlaoise St Patrick's Day is turning up the heat for family entertainment this weekend.

The hard working committee has prepared a feast of family fun from Saturday afternoon until Sunday evening March 16 to 17, with a bank holiday the next day giving everyone time to recover.

The committee is promising to make the town centre buzz with activities for their two day event.
"We are building up to possibly one of the greatest parades and street festivals thus far. We are bringing Portlaoise together this St Patrick’s Weekend," said PRO Paul Downey.

The fun kicks off on Saturday on March 16 from 3pm to 7pm when Main Street will be pedestrianised from the courthouse to Lyster Lane to start the street festival.

There will be live music, amusement rides, facepainting, hot food stalls, hot beverages, Jeca the Clown and giant characters roaming the main street.

On St Patrick's Day on Sunday the spectacle begins with the annual Streets of Portlaoise 5k Road Race at 11.00am. The fast flat course with a great atmosphere attracts elite runners, walkers and joggers of all ages and kicks off the community spirit for the rest of the day.

Straight after at 12.30pm the parade will start from county hall, right around the town finishing at the top square.

"There are amazing local business and community groups taking part to show their wares. Once the parade concludes, the street festival will continue right up until evening time with music from local choirs and bands, bouncing castles, amusement rides, the pet party, stalls and much much more," Mr Downey said.

Portlaoise Panthers Basketball Club will hold their annual Duck Race on the Triogue after the parade at about 2pm. Ducks are €5 with a first prize of €150 and plenty more prizes too.

He thanks all Portlaoise businesses and groups for their support.
"As always, the town we have is great and we’re delighted of the support that we have received this year so far," he said.
The committee welcomes last minute entrants, message Patrick’s Day Parade Portlaoise, or email - Portlaoisepdp@gmail.com.