NI 100: ‘One Giant Weekend’ celebration for Antrim and Newtownabbey

‘One Giant Weekend’ is being planned by Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council as part of its Northern Ireland Centenary celebrations.

Tuesday, 23rd February 2021, 10:13 am

The two-day event is being earmarked for September 4 and 5.

The programme is expected to incorporate a Garden Show Ireland promotional event, Spinning Yarns and Newtownabbey’s Shoreline Festival.

Garden Show Ireland was last held at Antrim Castle Gardens in 2018. The event has been held at this venue annually in May since 2014. Previously, it took place in Hillsborough Castle.

Antrim Castle Gardens

Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council has been supporting delivery of this garden show to the tune of £35,000 each year.

A report to council stated that the event has attracted 25,000 visitors during each of the three-day events with a “large proportion” of visitors from outside the borough and specialist traders and exhibitors from across the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland.

Councillors were told that the event has generated £2.25m for the local economy during the five years that it has been held in the borough.

Officers have advised that it is not expected to be possible to hold Garden Show Ireland this year due to the likelihood of Covid restrictions.

However, concern has been expressed that as the event has not been held during the past three years, this may “challenge any future recovery”.

Officers have recommended that a “promotional element” of Garden Show Ireland is incorporated into the ‘Centenary Giant Picnic in the Park’ outdoor event planned for Saturday, September 4 at Antrim Castle Gardens.

This may include a “showcase garden display featuring the best of Northern Ireland” promotional footage from previous events, special guests, prize giveaways and advance booking special offers.

The ‘Giant Picnic’ event may also be an opportunity to “showcase a range of local craft and heritage” through the borough’s ‘Spinning Yarns’ wool and linen festival.

Michelle Weir, Local Democracy Reporter

Click here to read: Centenary commemoration programme launched across Antrim and Newtownabbey

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