Balmoral Show back with a bang for 2022
The Balmoral Show is back for 2022, a 153rd year which promises a return to full capacity and a taste of post-pandemic normality.
Unveiling plans for this year’s show in partnership with Ulster Bank, the Ulster Agricultural Society said it would return to how it was in 2019, able to accommodate crowds of 120,000 over four days.
From Wednesday, May 11 to Saturday May 14, there’s something for everyone on offer at Balmoral Park, Lisburn; be it prize-winning livestock, an unrivalled array of trade stands, the always mouth-watering NI Food Pavilion as well as a host of family entertainment and attractions.
Operations director Rhonda Geary said: “We are delighted to welcome visitors back to Balmoral Park this May for the 2022 Show.
“Last year we ran the event in September – however we are thrilled to be returning to our usual May date, kicking off the showing season here in Northern Ireland.”
Top class attractions
This year’s show will also see the return of a number of top-class attractions, including a full schedule of Show Jumping classes including the return of International Show Jumping as well as the return of sheep classes.
Also returning to the Main Arena will be the RAF Parachute team and Polo Exhibition, while a special performance from a Military Band and an exciting Dog Display are sure to be among the highlights.
Family favourites back in the mix include the Children’s Farm, Downtown Show Stage, Healthy Horticulture Area and BBC Roadshow as well as many mobile family attractions at the showgrounds. And tThis year, the RUAS will also be marking the Queens Platinum Jubilee with a number of special activities across all four days.
Fun filled day out
Rhonda added: ‘‘We cannot wait to bring Balmoral back for 2022 and as always, the Show promises to be a fun-filled day out, with so much to see and do. Whether you’re looking for a family fun, fantastic food or the chance to view exceptional livestock, it’s all in the Show!
‘‘We would like to thank our sponsors for their continued support, especially our principal sponsor Ulster Bank and our platinum sponsors ABP, Marks & Spencer’s, SPAR and TESCO.”
Mark Crimmins, regional managing director of Ulster Bank NI, said the return of a full-scale Balmoral Show in 2022 is testament to the resilience of Northern Ireland’s farming community.
“The Balmoral Show in partnership with Ulster Bank continues to be the leading event in the Northern Ireland agricultural calendar and after last year’s hybrid show, there will be a huge appetite to see the return of a full-scale event.” he said.
“We have supported the RUAS as principal sponsor of the Show since 2009 and are proud to play a role in its continued success. This sponsorship reflects Ulster Bank’s broader commitment to the local agri-food sector and while we know there are many challenges facing the industry, there are also a lot of opportunities.
“Our message to farmers and producers is that we are here to help you maximise these and have the people and expertise to support your goals. We look forward to returning to Balmoral Park and catching up with our customers and friends from across the industry to celebrate all that this important, vibrant sector continues to achieve.”
Platinum Sponsors return to drive success
Of course no Balmoral Show can succeed without the support of its commercial partners and the 153rd incarnation of the event welcomes back the its four main Platinum Sponsors; ABP, M&S, SPAR and Tesco.
Hailing their return Royal Ulster Agricultural Society Operations Director Rhonda Geary said: “We would like to thank our platinum sponsors for their continued support of Northern Ireland’s largest agri-food event.
“We are delighted to see the return of the 153rd Show back to its usual date in May and once again, we are set to have four jam-packed days of family fun.”
Food Pavilion a treat for the tastebuds
With countless displays and a feast of live music and entertainment, this year’s Balmoral Show promises a feast for the eyes and ears… but fear not. the tastebuds will not be forgotten with an even bigger and better Food Pavilion showcasing the best of local produce.
Visitors over any of the four days can sample a huge range of delicious and original food and drink from a range of local artisan companies from across the country.
Organised by promotional body Food NI, and supported by the Northern Ireland Regional Food Programme, and Tourism NI, this year’s NI Food and Drink Pavilion will host the biggest celebration of the outstanding tastes and rich flavours from local companies, including many which have won top awards for originality and quality in top national and international food challenges.
Accolades bagged by some of those who will be showcasing their products include UK Great Taste Awards, Blas na hEireann Irish National Food Awards, UK Food and Drink Quality Awards and the Irish Quality Food and Drink Awards.
A host of local companies including the likes of Milgro, Glastry Farm Ice Cream, Erin Grove, Natural Umber and Irish Black Butter will be selling their products with the NI Food and Drink Experience Kitchen, supported by Tourism NI, providing the perfect platform to the best producers and foodie experiences from across Northern Ireland.
The Food NI Food Pavilion is always one of the most popular attractions at the Balmoral Show and provides opportunities for visitors to meet producers and learn how they hand craft the food and drink to ensure consistent quality and memorable flavours.
Virtually every sector in this vibrant industry, Northern Ireland’s largest single manufacturer and the only industry represented in every community, especially rural areas, will be featured in the pavilion. It’s an industry which generates over £5 billion annually to the local economy and contributes particularly to the wellbeing of rural communities.
Food and drink products from local companies are now exported to over 60 global markets such as the Republic of Ireland, other parts of the EU, as well as the US, Middle East and Asia.
Food NI Chief Executive Michele Shirlow said: “The Food Pavilion always been one of the most popular presentations at a show which draws visitors from Northern Ireland, the Republic of Ireland, Great Britain and further afield.
“Food writers and journalists we’ve worked with from outside Northern Ireland have always been impressed by the overall showcase and talented producers.”
All you need to know before visiting the Show
- The Balmoral Show 2022 takes place from May 11 to Saturday, May 14 at Balmoral Park near Lisburn in Co. Antrim.
- The major sponsor is Ulster Bank, and the platinum sponsors are ABP Group, Marks & Spencer’s, SPAR and TESCO.
- Around 120,000 farmers, agribusiness personnel and urban consumers from Northern Ireland, the west of Scotland and the Republic usually visit the show.
- Balmoral Park has over 4,000 car parking spaces available, including designated parking for blue badge holders on a first-come, first-served basis. Car parking is £10 per car.
- The show is located just four miles from Lisburn Train Station, which is regularly serviced from Belfast and Dublin
- There is a free and frequent bus service from Lisburn railway station to/from the show.
- If you are aged 60 or over or have a disability, you can access free travel on bus and railways within N. Ireland.
- All show tickets must be purchased online and will not be available at the gate. You can purchase tickets online on any show days, even from the car park.
- Early bird tickets are available until Tuesday, May 10th. These cost £22.50 for adults and £17 for seniors. Tickets on the day cost £24.00 for adults and £18 for seniors. Children under five & RUAS members are free. You can find more information via this link.
To read the full preview in Neighbourhood Retailer, click HERE.