This year’s Balmoral Show kicked off today and runs until Saturday, May 13.
Up to 100,000 people are expected to visit Balmoral Park, Lisburn, during the event. The 149th show is focusing on food, farming excellence and showmanship over its “long anticipated” four-day programme.
For example, the NI Food Pavilion is showcasing over 100 local producers with 50 chefs dishing up culinary delights.
Meanwhile, over 3,500 animals are vying for Balmoral Championship titles. There are livestock classes for cattle, sheep, pigs, goats, poultry and rabbits. Sheep shearing and a vintage machinery display are also part of this year’s show.
Showjumping is a big element of the show, with international riders competing in seven competitions. National activities fill the main arena. This year’s programme has expanded to incorporate the All-Ireland Schools’ Showjumping Championship and an under-10s Pony Grand Prix.
In fact, animals are everywhere – from prize-winning stock to the cute and cuddly inhabitants of the Children’s Farm and the Rare Breed Survival Trust stand.
There is also a health and fitness village; an agri pavilion; outdoor machinery trade stands; a family fun area; shopping; a motorcycle display; and entertainment.
The Young Farmers’ Clubs of Ulster are taking part in activities – varying from a tug of war to tractor handling.
The healthy horticulture area sees a revision of the garden village, which has increased in size and scope.
The video below gives a taste of what the atmosphere was like on the first day of the show, amidst bright sunshine.
Opening times are from 9.30am to 6:00pm today, Friday and Saturday, and 9.30am to 8:00pm tomorrow (Thursday). Admission charges range from £2 to £18. Children under five years are admitted free, when accompanied by an adult.