Big thank you from

Gearing up for another great Festival

Taste of what is in store

Lisburn City Council Mayor Councillor Allan Ewart with Festival Chairman David Dunlop and Oyster Pearl Emma Friers The Hillsborough International Oyster Festival is now in its 17th year.
HILLSBOROUGH is gearing up for the 17th International Oyster Festival, the only event of its kind in the Northern Irish calendar, which runs from Thursday 3 to Sunday, September 6.

Thursday sees the new and improved fashion show sponsored by Magowan's Fashion, Ballynahinch, McCalls of Lisburn and Wish Bridal Boutique, Hillsborough in the festival marquee. Doors open at 7pm. Tickets are available to purchase in the Village Centre or Hillsborough Tourist Centre.

Thursday night is also the opening evening, this year held in the Hillside, from 8pm til late. The evening starts with the Northern Ireland Heats for the World Oyster Eating Championship, followed by music from The Untouchables.

On Friday the village is in preparation for the Gala Masquerade Ball and every year the tickets are like gold dust. The evening opens with a drinks reception followed by a night filled with the finest cuisine the village has to offer, a charity auction with some great value for money and live entertainment. Tickets are now all but sold out and anyone interested should contact Sean Hall (details on our web site).

On Saturday from 12 noon to 5.30pm go along to the all day gourmet market celebrating the finest local produce, street entertainment and not forgetting the Oyster Festival Soap-box Derby and The World Oyster Eating Competition where Hillsborough comes alive.

This year sees many extensions to the festival with traders and entertainment on the Dark Walk beside The Plough Inn leading into the front Fort Field. City Beat will be broadcasting live from the Village and they will also stage quite a carnival on the Dromore Road.

Mid afternoon sees the highlight of the event - the finals of the World Oyster Eating Championship - held with competitors from around the globe. This year we have a serious contender from Canada who will take on Colin Shirlow who holds the world record for Oyster Eating standing at 233 in three minutes. Children are encouraged to come in fancy dress - there will be a mystery person handing out prizes all afternoon.

The BBQ on Saturday evening is followed by a live band in the marquee that has in the pastroved to be a festival to suit young and old from near and far. Entertainment from 7pm starting with Supper Troopers followed by a serious act sponsored by Burn The Energy Drink and top of the bill Xiii.

Supercar Sunday, sponsored by Hollybrook Sports Cars Ltd, will bring an impressive collection of £2.5 million of supercars to the village. The old with the new and a few surprise models on show for all car enthusiasts! You can get a ride in your dream car for a donation to the charity. Something for everyone to bring the Festival to an exciting end. Once again we have a charity that benefits from The Oyster Festival collecting at each of the events over the four days. This years charity S.A.M (Struggle Against Muscular Dystrophy).

For any information regarding the festival please visit our web site

Ulster Star