Belfast Telegraph

Balmoral Show 2019: ‘We’re here to show the kids where their food comes from... they’re having a great time,' says Belfast parent

Mark Bain

By Mark Bain

The first day of the Balmoral Show saw thousands take advantage of the fine weather to sample its sights and sounds.

Family fun was the order of the day for Andrew and Ruth McDougall from Belfast, who brought along niece Lucy (5) and nephew James (2) to get a taste of life on the farm.

"We're here to give the kids an idea of where their food comes from," said Ruth.

"They're having a great time and we'll keep going until the legs are too tired. They've been to petting zoos, but this is a great day for them to see the big animals and they're fascinated."

Bigger kids Jane Pollock and Lucy Richards from Newtownabbey (both 19) were taking a break from university studies to enjoy a day out in the sun. "I've eaten my way around the show so far," said Jane. "The food is great."

On Lucy's first trip to the show, she said: "We're loving it."

Adding a touch of glamour was newly crowned Miss Northern Ireland Lauren Leckey, who lives only a few miles away in Stoneyford. In one of her first engagements in what promises to be a busy year for the beauty queen, she donned her Safefood hat.

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"I usually come here anyway every year," she said. "I love it. I'm so glad it's a nice day, though, and that's brought a lot of people out."

Sisters Pauline and Elizabeth Armstrong made the journey from Omagh for the day.

"We got the bus up this morning and left the husbands at home. We knew the weather was going to be good and it was a great day out last year, so we came back." They finished off their ice-creams and set off to the take a closer look at the cattle.

Pacemaker Press 15/5/19
Katie Millar with Gareth Elliott at The opening day of the Balmoral Show on Wednesday, 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.
Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker
Pacemaker Press 15/5/19 Katie Millar with Gareth Elliott at The opening day of the Balmoral Show on Wednesday, 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. Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker
PressEye-Northern Ireland- 15th May 2019-Picture by Brian Little/PressEye Stunt motorcycle rider performing at Balmoral Park during the first day of the Balmoral Show 2019 Picture by Brian Little/PressEye
PressEye-Northern Ireland- 15th May 2019-Picture by Brian Little/PressEye Stunt motorcycle rider performing at Balmoral Park during the first day of the Balmoral Show 2019 Picture by Brian Little/PressEye
PressEye-Northern Ireland- 15th May 2019-Picture by Brian Little/PressEye Stunt motorcycle rider performing at Balmoral Park during the first day of the Balmoral Show 2019 Picture by Brian Little/PressEye
PressEye-Northern Ireland- 15th May 2019-Picture by Brian Little/PressEye DUP Leader Arlene Foster stops for a selfie at Balmoral Park during the first day of the Balmoral Show 2019 Picture by Brian Little/PressEye
PressEye-Northern Ireland- 15th May 2019-Picture by Brian Little/PressEye DUP Diane Dodds at Balmoral Park during the first day of the Balmoral Show 2019 Picture by Brian Little/PressEye
Pacemaker Press 15/5/19 The opening day of the Balmoral Show on Wednesday, 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. Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker
Pacemaker Press 15/5/19 The opening day of the Balmoral Show on Wednesday, 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. Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker
Pacemaker Press 15/5/19 Animals os show on The opening day of the Balmoral Show on Wednesday, 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. Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker
15/5/19: Julie Anne Clyde with her bull Nijinsky from Crawford Brothers, winner of the Senior Bull Class at the Balmoral Show. Picture: Michael Cooper
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 15th May 2019 First day of the Balmoral Show, in partnership with Ulster Bank. Show cattle are brought out for their competition at Balmoral Park outside Lisburn. Picture by Jonathan Porter/PressEye
Pacemaker Press 15/5/19 The opening day of the Balmoral Show on Wednesday, 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. Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker
Pacemaker Press 15/5/19 The opening day of the Balmoral Show on Wednesday, 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. Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker
Pacemaker Press 15/5/19 Animals os show on The opening day of the Balmoral Show on Wednesday, 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. Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker
Pacemaker Press 15/5/19 Katie Millar with her prize cattle at the opening day of the Balmoral Show on Wednesday, 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. Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker
Pacemaker Press 15/5/19 The opening day of the Balmoral Show on Wednesday, 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. Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker
Pacemaker Press 15/5/19 The opening day of the Balmoral Show on Wednesday, 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. Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 15th May 2019 First day of the Balmoral Show, in partnership with Ulster Bank. Show cattle are brought out for their competition at Balmoral Park outside Lisburn. Picture by Jonathan Porter/PressEye
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 15th May 2019 First day of the Balmoral Show, in partnership with Ulster Bank. Show pigs are brought out for their competition at Balmoral Park outside Lisburn. Picture by Jonathan Porter/PressEye
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 15th May 2019 First day of the Balmoral Show, in partnership with Ulster Bank. Show pigs are brought out for their competition at Balmoral Park outside Lisburn. Picture by Jonathan Porter/PressEye
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 15th May 2019 First day of the Balmoral Show, in partnership with Ulster Bank. The Sheep shearing competition takes place at Balmoral Park outside Lisburn. Picture by Jonathan Porter/PressEye
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 15th May 2019 First day of the Balmoral Show, in partnership with Ulster Bank at Balmoral Park outside Lisburn. Picture by Jonathan Porter/PressEye
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 15th May 2019 First day of the Balmoral Show, in partnership with Ulster Bank at Balmoral Park outside Lisburn. Picture by Jonathan Porter/PressEye
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 15th May 2019 First day of the Balmoral Show, in partnership with Ulster Bank at Balmoral Park outside Lisburn. Picture by Jonathan Porter/PressEye
15/5/19: Cattle judging at the Balmoral Show. Picture: Michael Cooper
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 15th May 2019 First day of the Balmoral Show, in partnership with Ulster Bank. Pictured at Balmoral Park, outside Lisburn, is Jack Morton with his Jack's Fudge business. Ulster Bank has provided space in its market at Balmoral Show to entrepreneurs from Ulster Bank's Entrepreneur Accelerator programme as well as small business customers. Picture by Jonathan Porter/PressEye
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 15th May 2019 First day of the Balmoral Show, in partnership with Ulster Bank. Pictured at Balmoral Park, outside Lisburn, are(L-R) Andy Laverty, David Knowles and Jonny Laverty with their sweet potato crisps business Wolf and Woodsman. Ulster Bank has provided space in its market at Balmoral Show to entrepreneurs from Ulster Bank's Entrepreneur Accelerator programme as well as small business customers. Picture by Jonathan Porter/PressEye
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 15th May 2019 First day of the Balmoral Show, in partnership with Ulster Bank. Pictured at Balmoral Park, outside Lisburn, is Betty Rodgers with her creams and balms business A Blissful Blend. Ulster Bank has provided space in its market at Balmoral Show to entrepreneurs from Ulster Bank's Entrepreneur Accelerator programme as well as small business customers. Picture by Jonathan Porter/PressEye
PressEye-Northern Ireland- 15th May 2019-Picture by Brian Little/PressEye General views. of Balmoral Park during the first day of the Balmoral Show 2019 Picture by Brian Little/PressEye
PressEye-Northern Ireland- 15th May 2019-Picture by Brian Little/PressEye Sam Beattie aged 2 from Tullyveery, Killyleagh at Balmoral Park during the first day of the Balmoral Show 2019 Picture by Brian Little/PressEye
PressEye-Northern Ireland- 15th May 2019-Picture by Brian Little/PressEye Cattle at Balmoral Park during the first day of the Balmoral Show 2019 Picture by Brian Little/PressEye
PressEye-Northern Ireland- 15th May 2019-Picture by Brian Little/PressEye Cattle judging taking place at Balmoral Park during the first day of the Balmoral Show 2019 Picture by Brian Little/PressEye
PressEye-Northern Ireland- 15th May 2019-Picture by Brian Little/PressEye Alpacas at Balmoral Park during the first day of the Balmoral Show 2019 Picture by Brian Little/PressEye
15/5/19: Competitors enjoy a cup of tea during a break in the cattle judging at the Balmoral Show. Picture: Michael Cooper
15/5/19: Cattle judging at the Balmoral Show. Picture: Michael Cooper
PressEye-Northern Ireland- 15th May 2019-Picture by Brian Little/PressEye Lesley Shields with daughter Paislee aged 18 months from Kilkeel at Balmoral Park during the first day of the Balmoral Show 2019 Picture by Brian Little/PressEye
PressEye-Northern Ireland- 15th May 2019-Picture by Brian Little/PressEye Cattle judging taking place at Balmoral Park during the first day of the Balmoral Show 2019 Picture by Brian Little/PressEye
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 15th May 2019 First day of the Balmoral Show, in partnership with Ulster Bank. Pictured at Balmoral Park, outside Lisburn, is (L-R) Leanne(13) and her mother Ann Marie Laverty from Mayobridge, Co. Down, with Thompson's Teas Jamie Thompson. The mother and daughter were getting their Ulster Bank Food Trail card stamped. Customers can visit different stands in the food hall getting their cards stamp which can be entered into a free draw. Picture by Jonathan Porter/PressEye
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 15th May 2019 First day of the Balmoral Show, in partnership with Ulster Bank. Pictured at Balmoral Park, outside Lisburn, is Ulster Banks Catherine McMullan at the start of Ulster Bank's Food Trail . Customers can visit different stands in the food hall getting their cards stamp which can be entered into a free draw. Picture by Jonathan Porter/PressEye
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 15th May 2019 First day of the Balmoral Show, in partnership with Ulster Bank. Pictured at Balmoral Park, outside Lisburn, is Tara Mullan with her Refuge Hot Chocolate business. Ulster Bank has provided space in its market at Balmoral Show to entrepreneurs from Ulster Bank's Entrepreneur Accelerator programme as well as small business customers. Picture by Jonathan Porter/PressEye
15/5/19: Kids enjoy sitting in a PSNI tractor at the Balmoral Show. Picture: Michael Cooper
Naomi Alexander, Hannah Alexander, Zara Gabbry and Lucy Gabbey with Dexter Cattle, Ballyboley Dexters from Graeyabbey Co Down showing at Balmoral Park during the first day of the Balmoral Show 2019. Picture by Brian Little/PressEye
Ernest Gregg from Ballybollem Pedigree Livestock farm in Randalstown, Co. Antrim, pictured with his two-year-old bull Moore at Balmoral Park outside Lisburn. Picture by Jonathan Porter/PressEye
PressEye-Northern Ireland- 15th May 2019-Picture by Brian Little/PressEye Briege Diamond Pointhouse Herd at Balmoral Park during the first day of the Balmoral Show 2019 Picture by Brian Little/PressEye
PressEye-Northern Ireland- 15th May 2019-Picture by Brian Little/PressEye Jenna Hunter from Markethill enjoying the sunshine at Balmoral Park during the first day of the Balmoral Show 2019 Picture by Brian Little/PressEye
PressEye-Northern Ireland- 15th May 2019-Picture by Brian Little/PressEye Billy Coote aged 3 from Dungannon at Balmoral Park during the first day of the Balmoral Show 2019 Picture by Brian Little/PressEye
PressEye-Northern Ireland- 15th May 2019-Picture by Brian Little/PressEye Rosa Finnegan aged 2 from Co Louth at Balmoral Park during the first day of the Balmoral Show 2019 Picture by Brian Little/PressEye
PressEye-Northern Ireland- 15th May 2019-Picture by Brian Little/PressEye Kieran Loughran aged 4 from Dungannon in the shovel of a CAT Wheel Loader , 18,849 kg, at Balmoral Park during the first day of the Balmoral Show 2019 Picture by Brian Little/PressEye
Erin Cunningham aged 2 from Armagh at Balmoral Park during the first day of the Balmoral Show 2019. Picture by Brian Little/PressEye
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 15th May 2019 First day of the Balmoral Show, in partnership with Ulster Bank: Showing cattle takes place in the main area at Balmoral Park outside Lisburn. Picture by Jonathan Porter/PressEye
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 15th May 2019 First day of the Balmoral Show, in partnership with Ulster Bank: Showing cattle takes place in the main area at Balmoral Park outside Lisburn. Picture by Jonathan Porter/PressEye
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 15th May 2019 First day of the Balmoral Show, in partnership with Ulster Bank: Showing cattle takes place in the main area at Balmoral Park outside Lisburn. Picture by Jonathan Porter/PressEye
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 15th May 2019 First day of the Balmoral Show, in partnership with Ulster Bank: Showing cattle takes place in the main area at Balmoral Park outside Lisburn. Picture by Jonathan Porter/PressEye
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 15th May 2019 First day of the Balmoral Show, in partnership with Ulster Bank at Balmoral Park outside Lisburn. Horse show jumping takes place at the start of the show. Picture by Jonathan Porter/PressEye
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 15th May 2019 Gates open for the first day of the Balmoral Show in partnership with Ulster Bank at Balmoral Park outside Lisburn. Picture by Jonathan Porter/PressEye
PressEye-Northern Ireland- 15th May 2019-Picture by Brian Little/PressEye Lexie and Dorothy Johnston from Ballymacan Blondes Clogher Co Tyrone showing at Balmoral Park during the first day of the Balmoral Show 2019 Picture by Brian Little/PressEye
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 15th May 2019 First day of the Balmoral Show, in partnership with Ulster Bank. Ernest Gregg from Ballybollem Pedigree Livestock farm in Randalstown, Co. Antrim, pictured with his two-year-old bull Moore at Balmoral Park outside Lisburn. Picture by Jonathan Porter/PressEye
PressEye-Northern Ireland- 15th May 2019-Picture by Brian Little/PressEye Andrew Davidson Gleno Valley YFCU receives his first prize in the Advanced Shearing competition from Zita McNaugher YFCU President at Balmoral Park during the first day of the Balmoral Show 2019 Picture by Brian Little/PressEye
PressEye-Northern Ireland- 15th May 2019-Picture by Brian Little/PressEye Liam Kelly from Randalstown YFCU during the Advanced YFCU Final at Balmoral Park during the first day of the Balmoral Show 2019 Picture by Brian Little/PressEye
REPRO FREE. 15/5/19: Anthony Harbinson, Director of Safer Communities at the Department of Justice (left), visited the Balmoral Show to offer support and thank the many partner agencies who have joined forces to engage with the rural community to raise awareness of criminal activity and offer guidance on how to protect their property and report suspicious activity. He is pictured with Shelly Ann Grimes, PSNI Crime Prevention and (middle) Chief Superintendent Jonathan Roberts. Picture: Michael Cooper
REPRO FREE. 15/5/19: Anthony Harbinson, Director of Safer Communities at the Department of Justice, visited the Balmoral Show to offer support and thank the many partners who work with the DOJ on the Organised Crime Task Force (OCTF). The OCTF used the opportunity to highlight to the public the vulnerabilities exploited by Organised Crime Groups and provided advice and guidance on how to safeguard against crime and, importantly, to report crime. He is pictured with Detective Superintendent Rachel Shields Head of PSNI Organised Crime Task Force and (middle) Chief Superintendent Jonathan Roberts. Picture: Michael Cooper
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 15th May 2019 First day of the Balmoral Show, in partnership with Ulster Bank: Sheep showing during the show at Balmoral Park outside Lisburn. Picture by Jonathan Porter/PressEye
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 15th May 2019 First day of the Balmoral Show, in partnership with Ulster Bank: Sheep showing during the show at Balmoral Park outside Lisburn. Picture by Jonathan Porter/PressEye
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 15th May 2019 First day of the Balmoral Show, in partnership with Ulster Bank: Sheep showing during the show at Balmoral Park outside Lisburn. Picture by Jonathan Porter/PressEye

Graham and Helen Kenny didn't travel quite as far. The Lisburn couple make their trips to the show an annual event.

"We got the free bus in from the town and that's a fantastic service for us," said Helen. "It saves us the £8 on car parking. Maybe £5 would be enough. I've seen so many families here and it must cost them a good bit for the day."

Graham said having a wander around the stalls was the best thing.

"We have a lovely day strolling around and seeing what's going on," he said.

"There's always something happening. We'll walk and eat and watch - what could be better?"

It's not all about the fun at Balmoral, though, and for many local businesses it's the best chance of the year to showcase their produce and get deals done.

Gillian Castles was handing out samples from her Craigavon-based Holmes family bakery.

"It's going well. The weather certainly helps but we've had a bust morning," she said.

"This is about meeting our customers, letting people sample what we do and, as there are a lot of business buyers out there, maybe doing a deal or two and making contacts to advance the business.

Helen and Graham Kenny
Helen and Graham Kenny
Alex Black and Eve Dodds
Andrew and Ruth McDougall with Lucy and James
Jane Pollock and Lucy Richards
Sisters Pauline and Elizabeth Armstrong

"This is the only show of its type in Northern Ireland and all you need is one good lead. Balmoral is definitely the place to find it and hopefully we'll be able to do some business over the next three days."

And just to show you can mix business and pleasure, Eve Dodds from Bangor and Alex Black from Newtownards were having a ball as they manned the Belfast Telegraph stall.

"This is great craic," said Eve. Alex added: "Meeting people, chatting to them and handing out goodie bags to put smiles on faces is a fantastic way to spend the day."

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