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Unlike in other countries, where saints and religious icons are celebrated and commemorated on their feast days, we in Australia tend to steer clear of these particular days of worship. Perhaps it's because we are such a multicultural society, with so many different religions and therefore so many different views, that these days don't have the same resonance for the vast majority of people. Sure, you'll see some people celebrating, especially if the day holds some significance to them, but they are few.
One saint, however, who seems to have a fairly large following is St Patrick - representative of the Irish people, various shades of green and a whole regalia of Irish-themed objects such as shamrocks, leprechauns, and that infamous pot of gold. Even people who have no association with Ireland are content to don the colour green and sink back a Guinness with their mates at the local Irish-themed pub.
On St Patrick's Day, it seems that anything that is Irish is a crowd-pleaser, which is why St Patrick's Primary School in Geelong West are onto a winner when they hold their main annual fundraising event centred on the feast day of their namesake. On Sunday March 17, from 11am till 4pm, the school will be holding their Irish Folk Festival- a day guaranteed to be a hit with young and old, Irish or not. While many schools hold fetes and carnivals, this has to be one of the biggest and most interesting festivals to hit the primary school fundraising circuit. Not only are there the usual bits and pieces that are associated with fetes, such as face painting and jumping castles, but St Patrick's Primary School goes all out in entertainment and other activities, making this a worthwhile event to attend.
If your children quite enjoy carnival rides, but dislike having to wait for showtime to come around, then you will be pleased to know that some of the more popular rides, such as The Cha Cha, the Giant Slide and the Chair-O-Plane will be running on the grounds of the school for the Festival. Single ride tickets are $6 each, or you can purchase an all-day rides ticket for $20 (but these are only available until March 13 from the school- all-day rides tickets will cost $25 each after this date).
The large grounds of the school more than cater for the crowds that are expected to attend the festival
The Art Show associated with the event is always popular and this year should be no exception. This year's theme 'Our Geelong' is a celebration of all things related to the township of Geelong and its surrounding suburbs, and the students at the school have created their own unique bollards to celebrate the subject. These are available for purchase and will be available to view as part of the exhibition. Other stalls on the day include lucky dips, show bags, badge-making, nail painting, a dunking booth, a spinning wheel, crazy hair and art activities. There will also be plenty of market stalls, and a variety of foods and drinks available to purchase. A huge auction, where you can bid on holidays and AFL footy tickets, and a major raffle (where tickets are only $1 each) are also sure to hold your attention.
Take a chance and enter the Leprechaun Drop for your chance to win $1000
Perhaps the most popular part of the day is when the famous Leprechaun Drop begins, with all entrants in the competition up for the chance to win $1000 cash. You can pre-purchase as many numbered paper plates as you like (at $20 each and before the deadline of 2.30pm on St Patrick 's Day) but the only condition if you win is that you have to be present to collect your prize. A soft toy leprechaun (which is approximately 35cm long) will be dropped onto the oval at St Patrick's Primary School and the prepositioned (by you) paper plate that it lands on or closest to will win the dosh. This popular competition is always a crowd pleaser, and it could end up capping off an already brilliant day if the leprechaun lands on your plate.
St Patrick's Primary School sure know how to put on a festival. It may just be Irish luck, adopted through the name of the school, but you're bound to find something to entertain you if you attend their popular Irish Folk Festival this St Patrick's Day.