Ballymoney Show becomes the first of NI’s summer shows to cancel for 2021

Ballymoney Show has become the first of the summer shows to cancel in Northern Ireland for 2021.

The event, which showcases food, farming and rural industries in North Antrim, was scheduled to take place on Friday, June 4 and Saturday, June 5.

Balmoral Show, which was set to run three weeks earlier from May 11 to May 14, 2022, has been postponed until September 22-25, 2021 – the week following the Republic’s National Ploughing Championships.

‘The only option’

Ballymoney Show Committee chairman Robert Shannon said: “Committee members met earlier this week to discuss all available options, with regard to the hosting of this year’s event.

“Given current circumstances, it was agreed unanimously that the 2021 show should not take place.

However, I can confirm that the 2022 event will go ahead, scheduled. The agreed show dates are Friday, June 3 and Saturday, June 4. The venue remains the same – Ballymoney Showgrounds.

The chairman pointed out that the decision taken by the show committee hinged on the issue of providing total safety reassurances to those members of the general public coming into the showgrounds.

He said: “Given the nature of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, it was felt that we would not be able to fully guarantee public safety. Given these circumstances, the only option available to us was that of cancelling this year’s event.

It’s also important for us to give certainty to our all our exhibitors, sponsors and other supporters on these matters. Ballymoney is one of the earliest events in Northern Ireland’s show calendar.

“It was, therefore, imperative for the show committee to make a clear decision regarding the future of the 2021 event at this stage.”

Public relations officer Carol McMullan added: “We are exploring the possibility of running some of the elements of the show on a virtual platform.

“Full details will be publicised on the show webpage and Facebook page.”