Thousands expected for opening day of Balmoral Show

Northern Ireland's premier agricultural festival hopes to welcome as many as 100,000 visitors Credit: PEYE

The opening day of the Balmoral Show is underway - one of the biggest event on the Northern Ireland farming calendar.

Tens of thousands of people are expected to attend Ireland's largest agricultural and food show, over the next four days.

The show is taking place at the former Balmoral Park just outside Lisburn and features a mix of farming displays as well as family activities.

This year will be the second time the event will run across four days. Credit: PEYE

The packed programme includes more than 650 trade stands to browse, the NI Food Pavilion showcasing the very best of local produce, plus hundreds of competitions and classes.

Alan Crowe, RUAS Chief Executive, said: “We are excited to welcome visitors to the 2019 Balmoral Show and about all that this year’s Show has on offer. The Show continues to grow every year with many exciting new additions and this year is no exception. Of course local agriculture remains at the heart of Balmoral and we are thrilled to see a marked increase in many of the livestock sectors;competition will be fierce for the prestigious Balmoral titles.’’

The farming show promotes Northern Ireland's agriculture production and produce. Credit: PEYE

The first shows were held at Belfast Corporation Markets from 1855 to 1895.

The Balmoral showgrounds were purchased in 1894 and the first show held there in 1896. It historically relocated to outside Lisburn in 2013.

This year’s Show will run from Wednesday 15th to Saturday 18th May.

Visitors have been advised to plan their journey in advance and leave extra time for travel.

Meanwhile, UTV will be broadcasting all week with will be there all week with coverage on UTV Live and a special programme on Sunday.

  • WATCH: UTV's Paul Reilly speaks to Rhonda Geary, Operations Director

Rhonda Geary, Operations Director, said: “We are looking forward to welcoming thousands of visitors toBalmoral Park over the course of the 4 days. As always with so much to see anddo at the Show it’s important to get there in good time."

UTV's Paul Reilly and Sara Moore are at Balmoral Show to bring reports each evening on UTV Live at 6pm.

They will also be bringing a look at all the highlights of the four-day event in a special programme, on Sunday at 6pm.

UTV will be broadcasting all week with will be there all week with coverage on UTV Live and a special programme on Sunday. Credit: UTV