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Our guide to what’s on this St Patrick’s weekend

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It’s St Patrick’s weekend, it’s a long weekend and Laois is lining up to really celebrate across the county.  

There are street festivals in Portlaoise, Mountrath, Mountmellick and Abbeyleix and parades in 13 different towns so there will be no excuse not to don the shamrock and get out and enjoy the local communities.   

The Mountmellick Drama festival continues, there is lots of comedy Friday night and a fashion show in Heywood.

There are also 4 organised walks and hikes for those who want to get out and enjoy our beautiful countryside.  We can guarantee you will not be bored this weekend.

THURSDAY MARCH 14

Portlaoise Tidy Towns table quiz

The annual Portlaoise Tidy Towns table quiz is on in Casey’s Pub in the Top Square at 9pm.

The Mill on the Floss – Mountmellick Drama Festival 2019

Night seven of the Mountmellick Drama Festival sees the Dalkey Players Dublin perform The Mill On The Floss, a play by Helen Edmundson.   

This is one of the most affecting stories of family loss, tragedy and the sheer meanness of fate.

Maggie Tulliver, is the daughter of a miller in the English midlands. Like many nineteenth century literary girls, her intelligence and emotional capacity outflank those of her family and this causes problems.

She is devoted to her brother Tom but he is hopelessly limited in his understanding. Maggie turns to Philip Wakem, who is the son of a local lawyer.

Disaster strikes their relationship as Mr Tulliver and Wakem find themselves enemies over a legal dispute that leaves Tulliver bankrupt.

In the rising floodwaters you see very mixed emotions of a woman trapped and doomed by the expectations of a society suspicious of an intelligent woman who thinks and feels too much for her own good at that time.

Tickets are available on the door and are €10 each or concession €5

FRIDAY MARCH 15

Portlaoise Ladies Hockey Club Comedy Night

Portlaoise Ladies Hockey Club are holding a Fundraiser Comedy Night in Kavanagh’s Bar and Venue on Friday 15th March 2019. Doors will open 9pm with tickets (€15 each)available from any team member or from Kavanagh’s Bar.

It promises to be a great night, with comedian Tom O’Mahony as the main act. Tom is one of the best comedians on the Irish circuit and has starred in the RTE series Damo & Ivor. The supporting acts on the night are Emma Doran and Mark Doheny.

Heywood Community School Fashion Show

Heywood Community School in association with the Holman Lee Agency will host the fundraising fashion show.  It aims to be a great evening of entertainment and fashion with both professional and local models.

There will be a monster raffle on the night.  The show begins at 7.30pm. Adults are €20 and students are €10 and tickets are available from the school office, McGrath Stores, Ladybelle Boutique and Ego Boost Salon

DJ Ray & DJ Dano

Soho Niteclub is bringing two of Carlow’s finest DJs  to Portlaoise to kick off St Patrick’s weekend in style. Doors open at 11pm until late

The Quare Land –Mountmellick Drama Festival 2019

The final night of Mountmellick Drama Festival 2019 sees The Knocks DG performs The Quare Land by John McManus.  

This group is new to Mountmellick and this show promises to be an excellent close to the festival.

The Quare Land is set in a house in Cavan where Hugh Pugh is about to take his first bath in four years. His bathing is disturbed by Rob McNulty, a developer on the verge of NAMA who wants to buy a field.

The quick–fire banter between the two characters escalates into an epic finale as both try to reason each other into submission.  Tickets are available on the door and cost €10 and concessions €5. 

Alison Spittle ‘Makes A Show Of Herself’

There’s even more comedy in Portlaoise this weekend as Kavanagh’s Comedy Club presents Alison Spittle ‘Makes A Show Of Herself’.  

Aisling is star and writer of RTE’s Nowhere Fast and Culchie Club and Tatler’s comedian of the year. Her stand up show is hilarious and a great night is planned for Friday night.  

Tickets are €14.50 and the event begins at 9.30pm. 

Hidden Sessions – Roundwood House

Roundwood House welcome the return of Ciaran Tourish and Kevin Doherty for another Hidden Ireland Session. Hidden Ireland Sessions never disappoint and no two are ever the same.

So bring an instrument, bring your love of live music and bring a friend, and help celebrate St. Patrick’s Weekend in style!  

Ciaran Tourish and Kevin Doherty will perform songs from their latest album Hotel Fiesta, as well as many old favourites.

Tickets are €25 and the gig begins at 8pm. A three-course dinner (optional) can be served at 6.30pm and is an additional €40. 

SATURDAY MARCH 16   

Slieve Bloom Guided Walk

The Slieve Bloom Walking Club’s next guided walk is Heywood Gardens And Lakes Walk.  This walk is a Grade C 5km walk and takes 2 hours so is suited for all the family.

Meeting point is at Heywood Gate Entrance at 2pm.  €5 per walk or €20 annual membership (€30 for family).

Curtain Call Stage School – The Little Mermaid

Come hear the tale of Ariel and all her underwater friends on her adventure to become human and live up above the ocean. This magical musical promises to be a hit with all ages.

Featuring 150 Curtain Call students aged 4-17. Come along to join in the fun “under the sea” Tickets are €15/€12 and there are shows at 2:30pm & 7:30pm in Dunamaise Arts Centre.  

The Valves

The Valves are back at Kavanagh’s Bar & Venue to get the weekend rocking. Come along from 10pm and there is no cover charge.

St. Patrick’s Celebrations, Main Street Portlaoise

A fun filled family weekend is promised in Portlaoise. The fun begins on Saturday with street entertainment from 3-7pm. There will be live music, amusement rides, face painting, life size characters and lots more.  

St. Patrick’s Festival O’Connell Square, Mountmellick

Saturday will see a new two festival kick off in Mountmellick. O’Connell Square will be a hive of activity with a day of traditional Irish music and dance

SUNDAY MARCH 17  

St Patrick’s Day Parades

Our towns have done us proud with so many great events on across the county.

Portlaoise: Sunday’s festivities begin at 11am with the annual Streets of Portlaoise 5km race, which will be followed by the parade at 12pm.  After the parade there will be plenty of activities and entertainment for all ages from Saturday with bouncy castles, face painters, music and street entertainment. 

Mountmellick:  A day full of fun for all the family begins at 10am in O’Connell’s Square.  Parade assembly begins at 1pm with the parade at 2pm.

Mountrath: Come see a St Patrick’s Day celebration with a mythical jam-packed day planned for the whole family.  All sorts of ghouls, dragons and fairies will take to Main Street for the parade as the town goes mystical and mythical for the big day.

All festivities will focus in the square. Music and entertainment will start from 12 midday to 5pm.  The Parade begins at 12.30 from St Fintans GAA.  RTE cameras will be in town to capture the celebrations.

Stradbally: Meet at Old Boy’s School at 10.15 and parade to Mass then.

Spink: Starts from Knock church at 10.15am and makes its way to Knock Community Hall where there will be light refreshments and entertainment for all. Please park at Knock church.

Rathdowney: Starting from St Fergal’s School at 1pm sharp.  

Abbeyleix: Entertainment from 12noon – Parade starts at 12.30pm. 

Rosenallis:  Parade begins at 3.30pm

Vicarstown: Starting at the bridge at 9.15 and makings its way to the church for 9.30 mass.

Killeshin: The Parade will assemble this year down at the new School Car Park at 9.20am. and will Parade to Holy Cross Church for 10am Mass.

Ballyroan: After 9.30am mass. Starts at the Church.

Graigecullen: Parade begins @ 11.00am and will travel to St Clare’s Church for 11.30am Mass

Timahoe:  Parade begins at 10am

Slieve Bloom Guided Walk

The Slieve Bloom Walking Club’s next guided walk is Clonaslee Woods and Brittas Lake Walk.  This walk is a Grade B 11km walk and takes 4 hours so a good level of fitness is required.

Meeting point is at Clonaslee Community Centreat 11am.  €5 per walk or €20 annual membership (€30 for family). 

The Jury

The Jury play Kavanagh’s Bar & Venue from 7-9 on Sunday evening. Perfect for a long weekend.

Transmitter

Laois favourites Transmitter play Abbeyleix Manor Hotel St Patrick’s night. Tickets are €10 and the gig begins at 8.30pm. Tickets are available at the hotel reception, phone 057 8730311

MONDAY MARCH 18  

Slieve Bloom Guided Walk

The Slieve Bloom Walking Club’s next guided walk is Two Rivers Walk.  This walk is a Grade A 10km walk and takes 4 hours so a good level of fitness is required.  

Meeting point is at Ridge of Capard Carpark (GR: N364 065) at 11am. €5 per walk or €20 annual membership (€30 for family). 

St Patrick’s Day Bank Holiday Monday Hike

Enjoy a guided hike of the Glenafelly valley in the Slieve Bloom Mountains. This a 3-3.5 hour hike led by Mid Ireland Adventures. Includes tea/coffee from the famous Kelly kettle and snacks at the end of the hike.  

It departs from Kinnitty Community Centre at 10am and costs €25. To find out more or to book see “Mid Ireland Adventure Tours

Stradbally Woodland Railway

The woodland train is back and it’s a lovely way to end the bank holiday.  

Trains will be running from 12pm to 4pm with tickets priced at €3 for children, €7 for adults and under 5s go free!  For more information see here

If you would like to have something included in our What’s On Guide email us on info@laoistoday.ie or call 057 8670722.

SEE ALSO – Streets of Portlaoise set to wow the crowds this weekend