NOT ones to rest on their laurels, the Portlaoise St Patrick’s Day committee have already begun planning for next year’s festivaal, but the committee need a lot of cash to fund the event.
The committee recently started organising fundraisers and need to raise a massive E11,000 for the festival. The committee spent almost E12,000 on last year’s parade, with insurance costing E2,000, bands costing E6,000 and barriers costing E1,700 taking most of the budget. Money was also spent on prizes, speaker hire, security and health and safety, entertainment, signs and uniforms.
The first fundraiser is a mock wedding entitled Laois 4 Weddings, after the TV programme. The wedding will be taking place over the October bank holiday weekend and already a number of brides and grooms are lined up fo the festivities, as well as popular wedding band Diamond Standard.
The committee is hoping that people from the community will come out and support the wedding, which also has a hen and a stag night taking place. They are also hoping that businesses in the town will come out and lend a hand, either with spot prizes or by organising their own fundraisers.
The Portlaoise St Patrick’s Day committee is open for new members to join, and welcome ideas from everyone. They are already looking for entertainment and floats for next year’s parade, which will be taking place on a Saturday, adding to the festival atmosphere. Committee member Michaela Fitzpatrick said that anyone who wants to arrange fundraisers will be supported by the St Patrick’s Day committee, whether they are schools, businesses, community or youth groups.
“It is for the town and we want everybody to get involved. There were 10,000 people in the town for this year’s parade and the businesses did very well,” she said.
The mock hen night will take place in Kavanaghs on September 30 and admission is E5, with lots of surprises for the ladies. The theme is ‘Bridesmaids’. The mock stag takes place in the same venue on October 7 and with admission at E5 as well, the theme is ‘The Hangover’. DJ Noel Brennan will be performing on both nights.
The venue for the mock wedding, which takes place on October 21, is yet to be confirmed and anyone with an idea is asked to contact Michaela Fitzpatrick at 085 1606944 or Ger Whelan at 087 2530124.
Committee members also include PJ Kavanagh, Jimmy Fitzpatrick, Dan Connolly, Malcom Smyth, Gerry Dillion, Jack Nolan, Monica Delaney, Dominic Dunne, Caroline Quinn, Clement Aherne, Kathleen O’ Brien, Mark Martley, and Ciara Nolan. For more information on the fundraisers, visit the Portlaoise St Patrick’s Day page on Facebook and read the Leinster Express.