THE PIG N’ Porter Festival gets underway this weekend, with thousands of tag rugby players and spectators set to stream into the city for the festival’s tenth anniversary.
Newstalk’s Tom Dunne will get the celebrations underway on Friday morning when he arrives into the city with the Discoverireland.ie bus to broadcast his radio show live from Thomas Street in the city between 10am-12pm. Newstalk and Discoverireland.ie are teaming up with the Pig N’ Porter festival and there will be lots of free giveaways, tasty local produce and activities for people who come on board the bus.
The official welcome party for the Pig N’ Porter takes place on Friday night in Clohessys Bar. Since its inaugural year in 2002 the Pig ‘N’ Porter has racked up some impressive figures, including: 30,000 attendees, 700 teams taking part, 60,000 pints drank, 18,000 pork baps consumed (that’s 90 spit-roasted pigs!), 106,920 squeezes of Heinz ketchup used and four marriages, which have come from flirtations on the grounds during the celebrations.
This is the festival’s tenth consecutive year, and with 120 teams and 1800 tag players participating from Limerick, the rest of Ireland, the UK and France, it is a truly international competition, cementing its status as the biggest one day tag rugby festival in the world with ten more teams entered than last year.
The festival, based in Old Crescent RFC’s ground in Rosbrien, boasts a marquee that is twice the size of last year’s and entertainment on Saturday comes from local bands Free Beer and White Water on the night of the tournament itself on Saturday, while there will be a fancy dress competition after the rugby.
“We are celebrating 10 years this year, so we want to give people a right good party and we have live music, fancy dress, fine food - as well as rugby. We are conscious that festivals grow and they can sometimes forget what made them big in the first place, and the reason why Pig N’ Porter is so good is that we have 80 percent repeat custom, so we have gone out of our way to make people comfortable and to make sure everyone enjoys themselves,” said organiser Padraic O’Connor.
“You have to be true to what works. We always make sure that the people who come to the Pig N’ Porter go away satisfied every year,” he added.
More than 70 percent of teams come from outside the Limerick area, leading local hoteliers to report a “bumper weekend” in store for the city.
The festival is held in association with the Irish Tag Rugby Association (ITRA) and is supported by Heinz Tomato Ketchup and Fáilte Ireland.
Spectators are welcome to attend and tickets are available for purchase from www.pigandporter.com.
*Friday’s gig with The Rubberbandits - in aid of mental health charity www,reachout,com - has been moved to Dolan’s Warehouse. Tickets from Ticketmaster.ie.