In 1767, an ad was placed in Faulkner’s Dublin Journal by the second Earl of Altamont Peter Browne Kelly advertising for tradesmen to build a new town as designed by architect William Leeson. This is considered the foundation year of Westport town.
A group of people has gathered in 2017 to commemorate this landmark anniversary - to plan, oversee, promote and find the finances for a year-long programme of celebrations. The new programme will run all year long and will include an air show, an historical conference, children's arts festival, a worldwide gathering of Mini car enthusiasts, as well as the return of the Westports of the World.
The Wesport250 steering committee is busy raising sponsorships from corporates, funding from the council, and grants to make the entire programme happen. This week it is also giving individuals the opportunity to contribute to the launch celebrations. The Westport250 launch celebration takes place on St Patrick's weekend. The events will kick off on Thursday March 16 with the hit show Patrick taking to the stage in Westport Town Hall. It will be followed the next day, St Patrick's Day, by a full day of festivities including an open air trad session at 1pm, followed by a rejuvenated Westport250 themed parade, culminating in a an open-air céilí. On Saturday March 18 at 12 noon Piper's tail an animated street theatre will take off around the town, while later on that day down at the Quay a full programme of festival performances will take place concluding with a spectacular fireworks extravaganza at dusk.
The organisers are asking people to help set the tone for this year-long celebration by donating what they can – there are pledges (with rewards ) from €25 right up to €1,000 to fit all budgets. Lend your support and take pride in knowing that you have made this memorial event happen. You can also pick up a Westport250 mug or bag, tickets to Patrick, or join in the VIP viewing of the fireworks from the best vantage spot on top of the Coast Hotel, Westport.
Check out the FundIt campaign for the Westport250 Launch Celebrations on St Patrick’s Day at fundit.ie/project/launch-of-westport250