Award winning chefs and a Commonwealth angler will be among the special guests at Bushmills Salmon and Whiskey Festival this weekend.
The annual event takes place on June 8 and 9 with a focus on the village’s history, whiskey distilling and local produce. Bushmills Salmon Station, nestled in a scenic location on the banks of the River Bush, provides an important focal point throughout the festival with guided tours, talks and fishing demonstrations.
With 2019 designated as the International Year of the Salmon, the weekend provides a unique opportunity to learn more about the centre’s important research and conservation work. Visitors can look forward to taking a guided tour inside on both days (opening times Saturday 11am-4.30pm and Sunday 1pm-4.30pm) while on Saturday there will be an opportunity to meet Alan McDade, captain of Northern Ireland’s Commonwealth Fly Fishing Team who won Gold in the competition last year.
In the Cookery Theatre at Main Street car park, celebrity chef Ian Orr will demonstrate his culinary prowess in front of a live audience on Saturday while on Sunday don’t miss appearances from some of the Borough’s best chefs including Trudy Brolly from Ocho Tapas in Portrush who was recently crowned Ulster Chowder Champion at Rathlin Sound Maritime Festival in Ballycastle.
To add to the foodie themed attractions, Naturally North Coast and Glens Artisan Market will include a special ‘food court’ area located just off Main Street in the car-park behind The Designerie. This will bring together some of the Market’s favourite food vendors and highlight the variety of artisan products available within the area. On Saturday, members of the public are encouraged to enter The Great Bushmills Bake-Off competition with a range of categories including best jam, sponge, cupcake or kids entry. Bring your homemade goods to the food marquee before midday to be in with a chance of winning or come along to browse the creative entries.
The Festival will also showcase the history of Bushmills in a number of engaging ways. Whiskey distilling has been a core characteristic of the village for over 400 years. During the weekend make sure to visit Bushmills Distillery, the oldest of its kind in Ireland, where you can sample the famous whiskey while learning more about its story. A free ‘Taste of Bushmills Heritage’ guided walk with Art Ward of Bushmills Walking Tours will focus on history, heritage and culture. Please note, places are limited and tours are weather dependent. For further information and to book your place please ring Bushmills Visitor Information Centre 028 2073 0390.
For the children, Millennium Park will host various free fun activities and entertainment throughout the weekend. A ‘quiet time’ Jumping Clay session will be available for young people with additional needs on Saturday from 10.30am-11.30am.
Look out for live music over the weekend at the Little Garden on Main Street and in The Diamond area where compere Denis McNeill will be on hand to add to the entertainment.
The Festival’s main attractions over the weekend will follow the much anticipated Bushmills Banquet which takes place on Friday evening. Building on its inaugural success last year, the Banquet is already a sell out. If you are lucky enough to have a ticket, the collaborative gourmet event will celebrate Bushmills Irish Whiskey and serve up festival themed dishes from local restaurants and artisan food producers.
To find out more about Bushmills Salmon and Whiskey Festival go to www.visitcausewaycoastandglens.com or ring Bushmills Visitor Information Centre on 028 2073 0390.