Home What's On Our guide to what’s on this jam-packed June Bank Holiday weekend

Our guide to what’s on this jam-packed June Bank Holiday weekend

Brought to you by Laois Tourism 

What a weekend of activity all around Laois.  

The June bank holiday bring us Gordon Bennett Irish Classic Car Run, Our brand new Timahoe Heritage Festival, celebrating 1100 years of Viking – monastic history and the Laois County Fleadh. 

Laois Africa Day happens on June 1 and promises to offer a rich and diverse day for all the family.  There’s also CelticCon returning to Portlaoise for its 4th year.  It’s a long list with something for everyone.


Gordon Bennett Thatch to Thatch Run

New for 2019 is a fun vintage car run of the Friday of the festival. See the cars at Treacy’s at 12 noon before driving to Sheeran’s pub Coolrain where light refreshments and entertainment will be provided.

Come along to either thatch pub or follow the cars and get into the spirit of the Gordon Bennett weekend.  It’s free to the public to come and see the cars & meet the drivers and they will be leaving Treacy’s at 12 noon.

Laois County Fleadh 2019

The very best of Irish traditional music across the county compete over the weekend.  This year’s venue is Coláiste Ísogáin, Portarlington. Come along for great music, dancing, singing and story-telling.  

Dancing competitions on Friday. Groups/bands/drumming/bodhrán on Saturday. Solo/duet/trio on Sunday. There will be a céilí to finish off the weekend.  The competitions run from 6:30pm on Friday, 11am on Saturday and 1pm on Sunday.

Portugal Team Classic at The Heritage Gold Resort

Taking place over the June Bank Holiday weekend, the winners each day will be a guaranteed 4-day golf trip to Portugal with unlimited golf! Entry costs €160 per team and is running from 7am-5pm.  For a tee spot or to find out more call 057 8642321 or see here.  

Alabama 3

The band behind ‘The Sopranos’ opening song ‘Woke Up This Morning’ performs at Kavanaghs Bar & Venue. Tickets cost €25 and the gig begins at 9.30pm. 


Gordon Bennett Irish Classic Car Run

This rally takes place over the June Bank Holiday with the County of Laois in Ireland as the event base. Also covering other Counties including Carlow and Kildare, all three of which were chosen for the original 1903 race.   

Today’s run will see over 180 vintage cars travel through the Laois and Kildare countryside to Russborough House in County Wicklow. For the public, come along to Treacy’s from 10am and meet the drivers and see the cars before they head off.  

Why not have a Bennett breakfast in Treacy’s and make a morning of it. Free to the public to come and see the cars & meet the drivers.  For more information see here

Laois County Fleadh 2019 – Session Trail

As well as the competing element of the Fleadh, this year also features a session trial in a number of pubs in Portarlington to keep the music playing all weekend. Come along to O’Dea’s from 6pm-9pm  and Delaney’s Pub from 8:30pm-Close.

The Cottage Market – Mountrath

The Cottage Market is back for its monthly market in the Macra Hall 10am-1pm.  Showcasing local crafts and artisan foods. This Saturday also marks the second anniversary of the market.

Bingo Bongo Night for Dave

Fundraiser for suicide awareness and prevention. The night will be a fun night that will also remember local man Dave who was the life & soul of Portlaoise Hospital.

Grellan Delaney’s hosts the madness of bingo complete with rave rounds, lip sync battles and dance offs.  Tickets are €20.00 at 9pm.

Thin Az Lizzy

Enjoy live music from a great Thin Lizzy cover band on Saturday night in Kavanagh’s Bar & Venue.  Tickets are €12.00 and gig begins at 9.30pm

Intensive Horticultural Course

Dunmore Country School are hosting an intensive horticulture course.   This course is a must if you want to understand, in just one day, the essence of traditional gardening. You will be well equipped to follow the seasonal courses. It costs €100 and runs from 9.30am-4.30pm.

Laois African Day 2019

Experience African culture & fusion. All welcome.  The event will see live music featuring well-known African and Irish musicians such as Royal Vessel Gospel Choir, and more Acts to be confirmed.

There will also be children’s entertainment; traditional African drumming and dance workshops; African arts and crafts and much more. See www.laoisafrica.com for the full line-up. All events are free – but tickets must be registered on Eventbrite. The day runs from 12pm-5pm in the Parish Centre Portlaoise.


CelticCon@Dunamaise will bring some of this country’s finest Comic and Children’s book talent together to Portlaoise for the third year in a row. The event will showcase Laois’s finest local creative writers, artists and illustrators.  

Plus a couple of famous faces like Don Conroy. Come join in the fun with Cosplay and Fancy Dress. There is lots more to keep both adults and children entertained all day from 11am -6pm in Dunamaise Arts Centre. Tickets cost adults €10 children €5,  Family rate €20.

The Loopline Collection – John Ford – Dreaming The Quiet Man

A series of four documentaries by acclaimed filmmaker Sé Merry Doyle. There will be a film screening each Saturday, followed by a reception and Q&A with the director.  

This Saturday is John Ford – Dreaming The Quiet Man. The films are running in Abbeyleix Heritage House at 7pm and cost€5 per night or €15 for all 4 nights. 

Timahoe Heritage Festival – Saturday Line Up

Brand new festival running over 2 days inspired by the Viking raid on Timahoe in the year 919 AD.   Timahoe have really embraced their inner Viking and put together a superb weekend.


  • March of The Vikings 10 Mile Road Race , 9:00: Registration 11:00: Race Start, 12:00 5KM Run/Walk Timahoe.
  • 12:00 The Big Dig – Archaeological Dig For Kids
  • 14:30 The Monks of Mount St. Joseph’s – Early Monastic Life Talk & Gregorian Chant         
  • 16:00: Eddie Lenihan Story Telling
  • All Day Events –  12Am – 6pm Food & Craft Fair – Medieval/Viking Weaponry Display – Bouncy Castles – Medieval Coin Making – Medieval Cooking Display – Weaving Display – Beekeeping Display – Funfair , Basket Making Display

For full details see here


Gordon Bennett Irish Classic Car Run

Sunday sees 180 vintage cars complete the original Gordon Bennett 1903 route and this will see the drivers dressed in ‘tweed’ today or in costume matching the period of their car.  Again come to Treacy’s from 10am and see this great sight and join in the fun.

The drivers love to show off their cars and share restoration stories and the history of their car. Make a morning of it and have some breakfast in Treacy’s Free to the public to come and see the cars & meet the drivers from 10am.

Laois County Fleadh 2019 – Session Trail

Today’s session trial features the Anvil Inn and Burbages Pubs in Portarlington.  The Gig Rig will also be in the People’s Park from 2pm-6pm and will keep people entertained with a wide range of traditional music and instruments.  Times for the session trail are as follows The Anvil Inn: 5-9pm Burbages:  8.30pm-close.

Timahoe Heritage Festival – Sunday Line Up

Viking madness continues in Timahoe with another great day of family fun.  Today’s events include:

  • 12.00 The Big Dig – Archaeological Dig For Kids
  • 12:00 – Fancy Dress Competition – Vikings – Monks – Medieval Open to adults and kids alike
  • 13:00 – Guided Tour of Timahoe Heritage Centre
  • 13:00 – Plant Culture – Horticulture & Herb Information
  • 14:00 – Unveiling of Commemorative Plaque @ Timahoe Heritage Centre
  • 14:30 – Viking Raid Battle Re-enactment
  • All Day Events 12AM – 6PM – Food & Craft Fair – Medieval/Viking Weaponry Display – Bouncy Castles – Medieval Coin Making – Medieval Cooking Display – Weaving Display – Beekeeping Display – Funfair -Plant Culture – Horticulture & Herb Information – Basket Making Display See website – booking required for some events

Trail Ride, B.B Q & Campout

Release your inner cowboy at Fossey Mountain Ranch, Timahoe with a trail ride, B.B.Q and Campout.  All level of riders welcome and you can either bring your own horse or hire one at the ranch.

The day begins at 12 noon until 9am on June 3.  For more information Call Michael 0872316591.

Slieve Bloom Guided Walk

The Slieve Bloom Walking Club’s next guided walk is the Catholes River Circuit Walk.  This walk is a Grade A 12km walk and takes 4-5 hours so a good level of fitness is required. Meeting point is the Catholes Car Park at 11am.  €5 per walk or €20 annual membership (€30 for family). For more information see www.slievebloom.ie.

Stradbally Woodland Steam Trains

Stradbally Woodland Railway is running this Sunday and Monday. Enjoy a family day out with a difference on Ireland’s first volunteer-run heritage railway and see a real working, steam train in beautiful forest scenery.  

Have many trips and get great value from your ticket as it is valid for a full day. Kids are €3. Adults €7 and under 5s go free. Remember your ticket is valid all day. Trains run from 12-4pm both days. 

Transmitter – Live Music

The Anvil Inn are host a firm Laois favourite this Sunday night. Transmitter always guaranteed to entertain. A great way to spend a bank holiday Sunday. There is no cover charge and the gig begins at 9pm.


Gordon Bennett Irish Classic Car Run

Monday at Gordon Bennett, the pace is a little slower with a short run leisure run to Kilcullen in Kildare. The drivers will be in Treacy’s before this, around 10am and the cars can be displayed and breakfast served.  

To mark the end of another Gordon Bennett weekend a festival day will run from 3pm in Treacy’s with everyone invited to partake. There will be a food and craft market and a BBQ served at €10 per person.

Live music by Geraldine and Kinfolk will keep everyone entertained and it’s a lovely way to spend a bank holiday Monday with friends and family so bring them all along. The BBQ and craft & food market runs from 3pm. 

Laois County Fleadh 2019 – Session Trail

Today sees the The Hawthorn Bar hosting both a junior and adult session.  With the junior session running from 2:30pm-6pm and the Adult session from 8pm-Close.  Also on Monday is an Ceili Mor in Portarlington GAA from 3-6pm. For more information see here


Transmitter are in Kavanagh’s Bar & Venue on bank holiday Monday so there is another chance to catch them in Laois over the weekend. The gig begins at 9pm and there is no cover charge.

Slieve Bloom Guided Walk

The Slieve Bloom Walking Club’s next guided walk is the Ridge of Capard Slieve Bloom Guided Walk -Lost Village Loop.  This walk is a Grade C 6km walk and takes 2 hours so  it is suitable for all.

Meeting point is the Ridge of Capard Carpark at 2pm.  €5 per walk or €20 annual membership (€30 for family). 

The Adventures of Snow White & The 7 Paw Patrol & Friends

This is a fabulous family event. Don’t miss what is going to be a great event that the kids are going to love!  Tickets sold on the door on show day in the Midlands Park Hotel. Tickets cost €7 or €20 for a family of four. The show begins at 3pm and doors open at 2:30pm.

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 – Local fundraiser organised for Mountmellick man and Tullamore Oncology Unit

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