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Hillsborough International Oyster Festival returns

Emma Friars is pictured with Sarah Waugh from the Festival organising committee at the launch of this year’'s event at Hillsborough Castle.

Emma Friars is pictured with Sarah Waugh from the Festival organising committee at the launch of this year’'s event at Hillsborough Castle.

The annual Hillsborough International Oyster Festival 2015 will run from Tuesday 1st to Sunday 6th September, offering visitors the opportunity to sample the finest locally-sourced produce and be entertained by local artists and fun activities.

This year’s Festival will see the return of the World Oyster Eating Championship, the glamourous Pearl and Oyster Ball, The Oyster Masters Golf, the Super Car Dream Sunday and the Soapbox Derby which is being sponsored by TrustFord this year. The line-up will also feature the debut of a number of exciting events including the appetising Hillsborough Gourmet Pop-Up Restaurant.

The week-long Oyster Festival attracts large numbers of tourists to the Hillsborough area each year and, now in its 23rd year, the prestigious event once again anticipates many visitors from the USA, Japan and beyond, all travelling to Northern Ireland to indulge in the unique food festival.

Speaking at the launch of this year’s event, Don Spence, chairman, Festival organising committee said: “Each year the Festival goes from strength to strength and contributes enormously to the local tourism industry. It sparks interest among food lovers, car fanatics and music fans. This year we’re looking forward to having racer Guy Martin join us for the TrustFord Soap Box Derby, as well welcoming the Ulster Youth Orchestra as a new addition to the Festival line-up, all in support of our nominated charities, Clubs for Young People (CYP NI) and the Hillsborough Village Centre.”

Premium gastronomy is a core ingredient of the Festival’s success with shellfish taking centre stage on Saturday 5th September at the World Oyster Eating Championship where competitors will be given the chance to win the coveted champion’s title. The new Gourmet Pop-up restaurant which premiers on Thursday 3rd September will provide guests with an exclusive dining experience comprising a three-course meal with dishes prepared by chefs from the Mourne Seafood Bar, The Hillside, The Parson’s Nose and The Plough.

Event Schedule – Hillsborough International Oyster Festival 2015
 Tuesday 1st September – The Oysters Masters Golf Day in association with Lexus and Finlay Wealth Management
 Wednesday 2nd September – Oyster Festival Musical Evening featuring the music of Hamilton Harty and friends. In association with the Ulster Youth Orchestra, Portadown Male Voice Choir, Music Matters and SD Bells
 Thursday 3rd September – Hillsborough International Oyster Festival Pop-up Restaurant featuring the best of eating from the village and beyond and will entertainment from the world famous Faulty Towers cast. Supported by Mourne Seafood, The Hillside, The Parson’s Nose, The Plough Inn, Deloitte, SD Bells, and Finlay Wealth Management
 Friday 4th September – Pearl and Oyster Blues Brothers Ball in association with Trust Ford and Finlay Wealth Management
 Saturday 5th September (Day) – The World Oyster Eating Championship
 Saturday 5th September (Night) – The Flash Harry and Friends Live Concert & BBQ
 Sunday 6th September – Super Car Dream Sunday
For further details on the event, please visit

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