Into Kildare, the tourism board for County Kildare has joined forces with Punchestown Racecourse and officially launched the ‘Paint The Town Red’ campaign. The campaign is a best dressed window and building competition which will help promote and support businesses in Naas before and during the Punchestown Festival. The initiative will see shops and traders in Naas being encouraged to decorate their buildings and shop fronts in a racing inspired, Punchestown theme.
The Punchestown Festival this year runs from Tuesday 25 – Saturday 29th April and there are plenty of great places in Naas for racegoers to visit both pre and post racing including some of Ireland’s best boutiques, men’s shops, hotels, restaurants, and pubs to mention but a few.
Naas businesses are being encouraged to embrace the fun and the energy of the famous festival and to ‘Paint The Town Red’ by incorporating the colour red in their window displays. Into Kildare has also sponsored flags which have dressed the streetscape and Naas Town Centre and which create a festival and party atmosphere in the town centre.
The trader with the best window will win a wonderful opportunity to be a tourist in their own county! The winner will get a host of fabulous prizes including dinner, bed and breakfast for two people at Kilkea Castle Hotel and Golf Resort, dinner bed and breakfast for two at Moyvalley Hotel and Golf Resort and dinner, bed and breakfast at Clanard Court Hotel. The top prize also includes hospitality for two in the La Touche Restaurant on the 29th of April at the Punchestown Festival. The fun doesn’t stop there… there’s also a family pass to the Irish National Stud to include the Racehorse Experience and Japanese Gardens and to top it all off there’s two tickets to see all of the flat horse racing action at the 1,000 Guineas Raceday at The Curragh on May, 28th.
The two runners up will win hospitality in the La Touche Restaurant on the 29th of April at Punchestown, a family pass with the Irish Racehorse Experience for use at the Irish National Stud and Japanese Gardens and two tickets to the 1,000 Guineas Raceday at the Curragh.
All entrants in the Paint The Town Red best dressed window competition will be given a pair of complimentary tickets for the opening day of the festival, Tuesday 25th of April when the overall winner will be announced.
To enter, entrants need to email a photo of their shop front all decorated in the Punchestown colours and racing theme to email@example.com The deadline is Tuesday 18th of April. Punchestown Racecourse will announce the finalists on social media on Friday 21st of April and the winner will be announced and presented with their prize in the Parade Ring at Punchestown Racecourse on Tuesday, 25th of April.
Speaking about the campaign, Áine Mangan, CEO of Into Kildare said, “The Into Kildare, Paint the Town Red initiative aims to encourage racegoers to eat, sleep and shop in Naas and to spend their money with local businesses. The Punchestown Festival will attract over 130,000 racegoers to the racecourse this year and those racegoers will of course need somewhere to eat, sleep and shop.
Kildare is known as ‘The Thoroughbred County’ but we also have lots to offer away from the track including fabulous cultural, dining and shopping experiences. Flags and creative displays will help to create a fun, festival atmosphere and will remind people that there is plenty to see and do in the area before and after racing. We are calling on all businesses to embrace the racing theme, decorate Naas and Paint the Town Red! “
She went on to say, “It is up to all of us collectively to entice visiting racegoers into the town with attractive offers and showcase the great community spirit that is alive and well in Naas. I would also like to take this opportunity to thank our members in the tourism network in county Kildare – Into Kildare who have been most supportive and engaging.”
Conor O Neill, CEO of Punchestown Racecourse said, “Last year was our first year back to racing as we knew it post pandemic. We were just blown away by the atmosphere, the crowds and the goodwill. We called last year our ‘Great Comeback Festival’ and it was certainly that! We look forward to welcoming great crowds and glad to see that most people have availed of the early bird discounts and got great value tickets. Sales are strong, hospitality continues to impress us with the level of popularity and UK visitors return year after year and account for 20% of the festival attendance. The Paint the Town Red concept was introduced to create that welcome for visitors and connect the town to this massive flagship event that’s happening just on the outskirts. We would like to thank those businesses that really put in such great efforts. It all adds to the event which in turn contributes massively to the local economy. We look forward to welcoming the people of Kildare and beyond to the 2023 Punchestown Festival.