Roscommon Gardai are organising a unique and fun-filled Family Day out at Roscommon Racecourse this coming St. Patricks Day. The day has something for all the family and (weather permitting) it should draw a big crowd to Lenebane on March 17th. It’s all part of the Garda fund-raising for a special challenge being undertaken by 60 members of the force from the Western Region later this year in the USA. The fund-raiser is known as the ‘Route 66 Challenge’ when the Gardai will travel on motorbikes on the famous Route 66 which runs from Chicago to Los Angeles — a distance of 2,500 miles. All the profits from the day will go to the childrens charity UNICEF and their programme of orphanage building in South Africa. The Route 66 Challenge will start on the 8th May .It will take 13 days in all and the motor cyclists/fund-raisers will travel through eight states and 3 time zones. Members of the Gardai locally have been holding various fund-raising events in the area over the past six months and to date they have raised just over €32,000. This Family Fun Day at Roscommon Racecourse on St. Patrick’s Day will be a unique occasion and one of the organising committee — Garda Leo Kiernan — says that, weather-permitting, it will be a great day out for all the family. ‘ It’s only €5 to get in and we have a whole host of events for people to enjoy on the day. There may be a small charge for some of the events when you get in but all those attractions are all optional’ he told me. On the day there will be many attractions such as Face painting, Sumo Wrestling, a Dog Show,Tug O’War (eight teams entered already but the organisers will welcome more), Art Exhibition, Bouncing Castles, Puzzle Treasure Hunts, Panto HorseRace and a Special Fire Engine Display. Special Guest on the Day will be the very popular Bear in The Big Blue House. Special features on the day will include the Garda Fleet, a Parachute display from the Irish Defence Forces who will land at the Racecourse on the day (weather-permitting). There will also be Hot Air Baloon rides. Hopefully the weather will be suitable on the day to allow those special events to take place. There will also be a flag-raising ceremony on the day when the UNICEF flag will be raised. There will also be a special appearance at the fun day by the Roscommon Convent of Mercy Primary School Band and there will be bar and snack facilities available throughout proceedings. There will also be a shuttle bus service running all day from The Square in Roscommon Town to the racecourse for a very small fee and that bus will run regularly, which will certainly facilitate many people. Garda Leo Kiernan told the People: ‘We are hoping for good weather and if we get that we are offering families a great day out on St Patricks Day. We want to thanks the Race Committee who gave us the use of their facilities for the day and we thank the public who have been so supportive of our fund-raising efforts so far. ‘Anyone who would like more details are more than welcome to give any of the organising committee a ring between this and St. Patricks Day.’ The members from Roscommon Garda Station involved in the fund-raiser are Dave Healy, Leo Kiernan, Niall Featherstone, Stan O’Grady and Frank Muldoon. Telephone numbers to contact: 086-8043134, 087-6301649, 086-8043134.