PHOTO GALLERY: Punchestown 'Paint the Town Red' launched in Naas

Deadline for entries is April 5

Leinster Leader reporter

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Cheltenham Gold Cup winning trainer, Jessica Harrigton was in Naas yesterday to help launch the newly extended ‘Paint The Town Red’ Punchestown competition. 

In association with Bank of Ireland, the organisers are calling on businesses in Naas, Blessington, Johnstown and Kill, Ballymore and Kilcullen to get festive for Punchestown Festival 2017.

Businesses are being encouraged to decorate their premises and store fronts in a racing-related theme.

Now in its 4th year, the campaign has been extended to include Blessington, Ballymore Eustace/Kilcullen, Johnstown/Kill to be judged alongside Naas.

The campaign aims to highlight they are open for business to welcome racegoers who wish to dine, shop, and do business during the festival and beyond.

It will see the towns and villages adorned in bunting and banners to celebrate the festival, which runs from April 25 to 29.

Over €5,000 worth of prizes are up for grabs for the traders who are the most creative. A finalist will be chosen from each of the participating town/villages and will receive €800, while the overall winner will receive €1,500 plus the use of a private suite at the racecourse on a non-festival race day.

Last year’s competition was won by premium late night bar One New Row, Naas. Second place went to McAuley Place Charity Shop with The Stationery Store securing the third prize.

Speaking about the campaign, Punchestown General Manager Dick O’Sullivan said; “Great racing areas and huge supporters of the racecourse include Kilcullen, Ballymore Eustace, Kill, Blessington, and Johnstown, so it is great to see them getting behind the project.

"The spin off for the locality is massive. Hotels, restaurants, salons, golf courses, pubs, taxi firms and shops in general all benefit from the festival invasion. With over 20,000 travelling from the UK it means there’s barely a bed free for miles. Each year the standard of entry for Paint the Town Red gets better and better so it is only right that the prize increases also. We are delighted to welcome Bank of Ireland on board as partners of Paint the Town Red 2017. We are calling on all businesses to get creative and decorate our town.”

Treasa O’Neill, Head of County Kildare, Bank of Ireland, said "We are delighted to be supporting and extending this fantastic campaign. The Punchestown Festival is an important and busy time, driving increased footfall and trade for the surrounding towns and villages. It’s fantastic to see such a strong relationship between the festival organisers and local business people as we work together to create the best possible experience for visitors and locals alike.  We are proud to be involved and look forward to seeing the red carpet rolled out across the six participating places this year.”

The deadline for entering businesses is Wednesday April 5 by contacting lfay@punchestown.com