Balmoral show returns for first time since covid-19 pandemic

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By Q Radio News

Northern Ireland's largest agri-food event, the Balmoral Show, is returning for the first time since the coronavirus pandemic began. 

It was called off in 2020 due to coronavirus and this year it was pushed from its original dates in May to 22nd-25th September.

Organisers postponed to ensure the event would be able to go ahead in line with covid-19 restrictions and that it's safe for visitors and staff. 

This year there are some changes including new entry rules which require people to show proof of full vaccination or a negative covid-19 test. 

People have also been asked to book their ticket in advance, as no tickets are available to buy on arrival.

Visitors will have to provide contact details for track and trace on arrival and wear face coverings in indoor buildings. 

The event is taking place at Eikon Exhibition Centre at Balmoral Park

A series of events are taking place over the next four days from horse show jumping, sheep sheering competitions and livestock competitions, to parachute displays and the Young Farmers Clubs football match. 

There is also a fun fair, walkabout acts and children's farm. 

Hundreds of trade stalls will be at the Balmoral Park with a shopping village set up at the Eikon Centre. 

The event also features it's popular NI food pavilion which showcases local produce, competitions and classes. 

Rhonda Geary, Operations Director for the Royal Ulster Agricultural Society told Q Radio there's something for the whole family.

Rhonda Geary, Operations Director for RUAS

One unique feature this year is the walk in covid-19 vaccination clinic which is being run by the South Eastern Health Trust. 

Everyone over the age of 18 can avail of the Moderna Vaccine, while 16 and 17-year-olds will receive the Pfizer jab. 

Second doses will be administered at participating pharmacies. 

The vaccination clinic will be open from 10.00am – 6.00pm on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday and 10.00am – 5.00pm on Saturday. 

Tanya Daly, Clinical Lead, Covid-19 Vaccination Programme for the South Eastern HSC Trust said, “We are delighted to be delivering COVID-19 Vaccinations at the Balmoral Show.

"The return of the Balmoral Show is an example of how we are slowly getting back to normal and this is a great opportunity for those who have not already availed of the vaccine to do so while they enjoy the delights of the show.

"COVID-19 is sadly still very much with us and impacting greatly on our healthcare system and we would encourage anyone who has not yet had the vaccine to pop over to the tent. Remember the vaccine not only protects you but also your friends, your family and our amazing NHS.”

The Q Radio team out and about at this year's Balmoral Show

The Balmoral Show will run over the next four days opening at 9.30am and closing at 6pm.

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