Landmark 150th Balmoral Show to be biggest to date

With less than three months to go, the final preparations are underway for this year’s Balmoral Show.

The 2018 event will feature more than 650 trade stands, the NI Food Pavilion featuring the best of local food and drink producers, hundreds of competitions and classes, and a wide range of family entertainment and attractions.

What’s new for 2018?

This year the show will be extending its footprint with an additional 4,000m² of exhibition space.

2018 also marks the second year in a row that the agricultural event has spanned four days, so the extra day is set to stay.

Replacing the former cattle marquee, a new, permanent £3 million (€3.4 million) covered exhibition space will be finished just in time to house the cattle in May.

The show’s new chief executive Alan Crowe will also be new into the job in time for the 2018 show – so keep an eye out for him.

Anniversary year

To commemorate the show’s 150th year, a special anniversary marquee will host an exhibition of photography, souvenirs and artefacts from a bygone era of agriculture and farming in Northern Ireland taking visitors through the years of the Royal Ulster Agricultural Society (RUAS).

Colin McDonald, RUAS chief executive, said: “We are delighted to officially kick-start the countdown to Balmoral Show 2018; this is a very special year as we celebrate the 150th show – a landmark we are very proud of.

Following on from the success of last year’s four-day event, which saw visitor numbers reach an all-time high, we are excited to once again extend the show to four days.

‘’With the increase in size and scale of the show, new attractions and our 150th anniversary plans, 2018 is shaping up to be a big year.”

‘A rich history’

Nigel Walsh, commercial director of principle Balmoral Show sponsor Ulster Bank, said: “With the 2018 show just three months away, everyone at Ulster Bank is once again looking forward to Northern Ireland’s largest agriculture event. It promises to be a momentous showcase celebrating Balmoral Show’s rich 150-year history.

“Each year the show continues to further cement its appeal with our local food, drink and agriculture industries as well as farming and rural communities.

“We are also beginning to see widening interest in the show from young, metropolitan audiences – a trend which we hope to see increase in years to come.”

The 2018 Balmoral Show runs from Wednesday, May 16 until Saturday, May 19. Discounted pre-show tickets are available to purchase online now from balmoralshow.co.uk.