The streets of Portlaoise will come to life this June 23, 24 and 25 with the Old Fort Quarter Festival making a welcome return for its second year celebrating the town’s historic past.
The family friendly weekend has expanded to cater for even more tastes with a brand new Street Stall Food Festival featuring a variety of cuisines from around the world from Hungarian to Mexican street food and local producers.
Barbara Brown from Brown’s Vineyard and a LaoisToday columnist, 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.”
Another new element of the Old Fort Quarter Festival this year is a display of family-orientated events and activities based on heritage such as medieval shield making for children, medieval hair styles for children and interactive armour displays in Gaelic and Tudor style.
Raven Haven Aviaries will have a bird display at Fitzmaurice Square and regular walking tours of the Fort will be carried out over the Saturday and Sunday.
The family fun doesn’t 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 and The Friendly Strangers, Strength in Numbers, The Valves and The Fanzines all taking to the stage.
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 details of times of all the events can be found on the Old Fort Quarter Facebook Page.