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Forty shades of blue in Portarlington

The 'blueberry man' advertising the upcoming festival to promote local food and crafts in Portarlington on September 16.

The 'blueberry man' advertising the upcoming festival to promote local food and crafts in Portarlington on September 16.

Portarlington’s first Blueberry Festival is coming up this September, and local food and craft makers, businesses and community groups are being urged to lay out their stall.

All things blue is the theme, with local cafes and restaurants handing out food samples containing tasty and nutritious blueberries, blues music and family entertainment. Stall holders are invited to use their imaginations and interact with the public through games, art, music or competition.

Stalls will run along French Church Street and around the Square on Sunday, September 16, from 12 noon to 6pm.

St Michael’s AC are holding their popular Port 10km run to coincide with the festival, and GAA fans are catered for too, with Port and Gracefield pitting it out in penalty shootouts across the Barrow river in the park.

Organisers Love Port are hosting the festival to promote local food tourism. They are taking their theme from the unique blueberry farm at nearby Derryvilla.

“Blueberries are unique to Portarlington and we want to celebrate what we have in abundance and what comes naturally to us. This is an opportunity to showcase valuable assets we already have, top quality locally produced arts and foods. We hope it will bring together local producers and suppliers,” said Celia Deverall from the Love Port committee, part of Port Community Development Association.

Love Port now have over 500 businesses and 70 community groups registered on their data base, and all are invited to take part.

A surprisingly wide range of food are produced locally, including baked goods, mushrooms, potatoes, yogurt, honey, cheese, jam and butter. Port restaurant The French Quarter are embracing this, and will feature a menu based on local food in the week running up to the festival.

Love Port hope the festival will be an annual event, complimenting Port’s Pride and the Festival Francais.

“These are very difficult times, particularly for business people, and we are aware of the great work being made by the Portarlington traders to stimulate local business. We in the PCDA would like to assist in any way possible; we would hope that annual festivals like this one will help the local economy, and provide a fun day out for the community,” says Celia.

There is a charge of €10 for community groups that are showcasing themselves, and €30 for all other stallholders. To support the event or take a stall, contact the Love Port office at Oriel House, or email portsvision2020@gmail.com.

 

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