THE numbers of teams participating in this year’s Pig n’ Porter tag rugby festival are up, while organisers expect the superb weather to lead to record numbers attending the main event on Saturday.
This, the 12th staging of the event, will welcome a massive 120 teams to Old Crescent for the festival, up from 115 last year, with places being booked up faster than ever before - a welcome boost for the committee running the event.
As a large percentage of teams come from outside Limerick to take part in the competitive rugby event - the largest one day tag festival in the world - this means a huge boon to hoteliers in the region.
Organisers confidently predict that, with the weather set to hold for Saturday for an event that is typically beset with bad July weather, upwards of 5,000 people could descend on Old Crescent for the massive social event that follows the rugby.
Before the Pig n’ Porter takes place on Saturday, Friday will see a first for the club, hosting the first tag test series between Ireland and Great Britain, competing for a British and Irish Cup.
The Ireland team, taking place in three matches - men’s, women’s and mixed sides - is made up of amateur tag players scouted from ITRA venues in Dublin, Limerick, Cork, Galway and Kildare.
“We’re really looking forward to this year’s event,” said Billy Breen, spokesperson for the Pig n’ Porter organising committee, who again welcome Heinz Tomato Ketchup as sponsors, along with Failte Ireland, as part of The Gathering.
“There’s been a lot of hard work put in over the past few months, and we’re confident that everyone who comes along on Friday and Saturday will have a great time. We’ve had some bad luck with the weather over the past few years, but we’re hoping that the heatwave might entice even more people to come and visit this year,” added Billy.
As well as the tag rugby on display and the massive marquee set up on the grounds of the club, which will feature an array of live music, there will be an assortment of family entertainment and a pig-on-a-spit barbecue laid on by Tommy Relihan and Adare Farm.
This year the event will feature another first - pig racing, with a special 80 metre race track set up on the main pitch.
“Between the tag rugby, the bands, the live music, the pig racing and all the other events we’ll have taking place throughout the day, there really will be something for everyone,” said Mr Breen.
“This is still an event put together entirely by volunteers. We’re very proud of that, because it means that we never get away from the fact that this is always just about people enjoying themselves.”
For more information see www.pignporter.com.