Family Fun at Ballynahinch
From Bake Off To Bouncy Castle, Family Fun For Ballynahinch Town Centre
As Ballynahinch prepares to pay tribute to its rural roots and market town heritage, the full programme of town centre events to compliment this weekend’s Ballynahinch Game and Harvest Festival has been announced.
The town’s historic Market Square will come alive with free family fun on Saturday 24 September from 12 Noon to 5pm, with an artisan food market, art and crafts workshops and The Great Ballynahinch Bake Off. Music will be provided by local singer-songwriter, Connor Martin, while the children can enjoy all the fun of petting farm, tractor-shaped bouncy castle and loads of kiddies’ entertainment; all without breaking the Bank of Mum and Dad!
A highlight for all the family, and for the many visitors who will flock to the town for the seasonal celebrations, will be a re-enactment of a skirmish from the Battle of Ballynahinch, delivered with an eye to historic detail and a sense of the spectacular by Living History Ireland. The event will provide a taster for a full programme of pageantry at the Game and Harvest Festival at Montalto, where a vast pageantry programme will also feature falconry displays, dancing horses, medieval jousting, displays of historic farm machinery and even a replica coin maker at work.
Looking forward to the two events, Newry, Mourne and Down District Council Chairperson, Councillor Gillian Fitzpatrick said, “We are thrilled that the wonderful Montalto Estate, which is such an asset to Ballynahinch, will be the location for this weekend’s major event staged by Great Game Fairs of Ireland. We look forward to this being a tremendously busy weekend for the whole town, with benefits flowing to our hospitality and retail sectors. In these tough economic times, Newry, Mourne and Down District Council is also delighted to support the excitement at Montalto with free town centre events for families to enjoy with Saturday afternoon being packed with fun activities.”
Councillor Fitzpatrick continued, “I, for one, can’t wait to taste some of the great food on offer and, of course, the programme provides another great reason for an afternoon enjoying the shops, café and bars which give Ballynahinch such an air of vibrancy. I would encourage local businesses to get in the harvest mood and dress up their shop windows in the harvest and country living theme. Last year the town looked fantastic and it will be great if more businesses hay up and make sure the town is looking amazing for this Autumn weekend”.
Throughout Saturday afternoon the fun at The Square, organised by Newry, Mourne and Down District Council, will be linked to The Ballynahinch Game and Harvest Festival at the glorious Montalto Estate by a free shuttle bus service.
Albert Titterington, Director of The Great Game Fairs of Ireland and the force behind the Ballynahinch Game and Harvest Festival says, “A huge thank you to the Council for providing this imaginative fun programme as a family-friendly addition to the Game Fair weekend. Ballynahinch is a town with a fantastic and colourful history and we look forward to honouring that heritage by giving the town centre crowds a ‘teaser’ taste of what is on offer right across the weekend at Montalto when we stage a mock skirmish from the Battle of Ballynahinch right in the town centre.”
Albert Titterington added, “The Council’s free shuttle bus will make it easy to move between the two events and will ensure that no-one need miss a moment of the fun in either venue.”
Visitors to the Ballynahinch Game and Harvest Festival and those who plan to join the fun in the town centre are reminded that there will be some road closures from 11am to 6pm on Saturday 24 September. Look out for AA directional signage on the day or, in advance, check downfestivals on facebook or visit www.visitmournemountains.co.uk.
Admission: Adults £10; Family Ticket (2 Adults & up to 4 children).£25 Children ( 5-15) £5 including free carousel rides. For further details of the event see www.ballynahinchharvestfestival.com
The Ballynahinch Game and Harvest Festival enjoys the support of Tourism NI, Year of Food and Drink 2016, Newry, Mourne and Down District Council and The Ulster Scots Agency.