THE biggest Countrysports Fair in Northern Ireland is back this May and promises to be even better than ever before with a staggering £1 million worth of investment set to be generated into the local economy.
The event has been rebranded from The National Countrysports Fair to The Northern Ireland Countryside Festival.
The two-day spectacular, which is celebrating its tenth anniversary has launched a brand new website to mark the occasion, and will once again take place in Moira Demesne on Saturday and Sunday, May 26-27.
More than 18,000 visitors attended last year’s event and organisers expect, with new attractions and activities, that number to rise significantly this year resulting in a huge boost for the local area.
With the various exhibitors and visitors travelling into the region over the weekend, 800 bed nights will be required while £100,000 will be spent in and around the festival venue.
Families will certainly enjoy all the fun of the fair as this year three great events have been rolled into one giant festival.
This will include the National Countrysports Fair, the Tea on the Titanic Music Festival and the Finn McCool Strongman Festival.
Activities in the main ring this year include the Phoenix Falconry Birds of Prey Display, the Drakes of Hazard Sheepdog and Ducks Display and the Gundog handling demonstrations.
The Strongman Arena will include the Finn McCool Celtic Games and the Irish Novice Strongman Challenge while the Tea on the Titanic Festival allows the visitor to enjoy traditional music and dance from Hugo Duncan and band as well as music from The Bjorn Identity Abba Tribute Band and an Elvis Tribute act.
The eagerly anticipated festival has seen significant support and funding from the Northern Ireland Tourist Board and Lisburn City Council as it continues to establish itself as a key Northern Ireland event and generates tourism during NI 2012 supporting the ‘Our Time, Our Place’ campaign.
Festival Director, Bill Beckett said, “This year is going to be bigger and better at the Northern Ireland Countryside Festival, not only are we celebrating our tenth festival at Moira Demesne, we have rebranded and have launched our new website.
“The festival has continued to grow over the years and this year we wanted to enhance the visitor experience with the two additional events in what is a very historic and important year for Northern Ireland tourism,” he added.
Eddie Rowan, Northern Ireland Tourist Board’s Event Manager said, “We’re delighted to once again be supporting the Northern Ireland Countryside Festival.
“Each year it attracts crowds from across the country and with new attractions added to the 2012 event we’re sure it will appeal to an even wider audience and help increase attendances even more during this great year for tourism in Northern Ireland.”
Alderman Dillon, Chair of Lisburn City Council Economic Development Committee said, “Lisburn City Council is delighted to see the return of the festival for the tenth occasion to Moira Demesne and the first as the Northern Ireland Countryside Festival.
“This is a great event for the local area and with the estimated investment into the local economy, everyone should benefit from this.”
For further information on the event and for ticket prices please visit the website www.nicountryside.com