Fancy a visit to the Paris of the Midlands? If so, make the trip during the Portarlington French Festival, or as you should say in the spirit of proceedings, Festival Francais de Portarlington.
During the 17th century, this market town was a place where French, as opposed to Irish or English, was spoken, thanks to an influx of French Huguenot refugees. Their legacy lives on in beautiful Huguenot style homes and landmarks like St Paul’s French Church, Arlington House, Lea Castle and Emo Court House.
The festival is an excuse for everyone in the town to contract French fever. Irish and French standards hang everywhere and the World Snail Eating Competition separates the brave from the bewildered. With arts, theatre, street entertainment, music, dance, and sports, there’s something to everyone’s tastes…even if you’re not a fan of l’escargot.
Celebrate the strange and wonderful history of Portarlington. You’ll be left thinking je ne regrette rien, promise.