During the 17th century, Portarlington was home to a large population of French Huguenot refugees. While they mostly moved on to other places they left a legacy of Huguenot style homes and landmarks such as St Paul’s French Church, Arlington House, Lea Castle and Emo Court House.
During this annual festival the town becomes ‘French’ for a weekend, with arts, theatre, street entertainment, music, dance, and sports (maybe try you hand at Boules?), all with a distinctive French flavour. And speaking of flavour, there is an International Snail Eating Competition as part of the festivities – though you are not obliged to join in! For non-snail lovers there will be plenty of other French fare to enjoy, with food a central part of the event and an artisan food market allows local producers to show their French flair.
Vistitor Information and Map
Very much a community event, much of the festival takes place on the streets. Portarlington is very much worth visiting at any time, but this is the best weekend of the year to go.