The population of Tullamore will swell by several thousand this weekend, with the 13th Tullamore Irish Festival expected to attract a huge crowd.
The Festival will be held over three days - Friday, Saturday and Sunday - with a host of highlights.
Coordinator, Paul Stanbrook said the Festival started in 2004 with a one day event held in late March.
“By 2006 the Festival had changed to a three day event during the Easter weekend providing the opportunity for visitors to travel and camp or stay locally,” he said.
“This Easter is the 13th Tullamore Irish Festival and we are very excited to have a great line up of performers such as Damien Leith, Peter Byrne, Saoirse, The BordererS as well as the Irish Dancers - Spreagadh na Rince from Narromine.
“All the family will have a memorable day on Saturday with market stalls, Irish tug of war and the Tullamore Irish Hurdles plus free kid’s entertainment with Tea Cups, Jumping Castle, Mini Train and the Cobb and Co Coach ride.
“Kids are guaranteed to be exhausted by the end of the day.”
Paul said this year the art show is back, with opening night tomorrow at 7pm.
“There will be a great range of art works on display and for sale. You can buy tickets at the door,” he said.
“The Twilight Concert on Good Friday is not to be missed. You can shamrock on from 6pm.
“The Spreagadh na Rince Dancers will open the night, followed by Peter Byrne with his Forever Diamond show. His show looks amazing and if you’re wondering about the Irish connection… Peter is an Irishman – accent and all.
“The kitchen will be open with a great menu to choose from including fresh salmon steaks.
Not to mention the cool beer and cider served at the bar.
“Good Friday will be a great night to socialise with friends and get into the Irish spirit.”
Saturday is the main day and as tradition goes the street parade will be the start of the festival.
“If you can dance, juggle, walk, ride, drive or anything else interesting you are more than welcome to be in the parade,” Paul said.
The parade starts at 10.30am.
“For the spectators, grab a coffee, wave a flag, and enjoy the parade from both sides of Cardigan Street. You will soon get into the Irish spirit and will be singing and dancing on the street,” Paul said.
“At the Festival Grounds there will be lots of market stalls, hot coffee and ice creams which will keep the kids happy.
“Damien Leith will be performing on Saturday afternoon from 5pm and will be at the festival all day to meet everyone.
“There will also be the famous Irish hurdles and the Irish Tug of war.
The Tullamore Irish Festival is a family event and it brings the community together and also shows visitors what a great town we live in,” Paul said.
“It’s a great excuse to get outside, have a yarn and meet new people and enjoy yourself.
“See you at the festival!”
Next year’s festival will be held14th - 16th April 2017.