‘Make or break’ year for new-look show

Chairman of this year's Lisburn and Saintfield District Show, Brian Hunter is pictured with Adrian Stevenson and Robin McMullan from the Lisbane store of show sponsors Fane Valley.

Chairman of this year's Lisburn and Saintfield District Show, Brian Hunter is pictured with Adrian Stevenson and Robin McMullan from the Lisbane store of show sponsors Fane Valley.

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This year will “make or break” the Lisburn and Saintfield District Show, according to organisers.

The committee is hoping this, the original Saintfield Show’s 70th anniversary year, will mark a turning point for the new-look event.

It’s hoped the show, coming up at Balmoral Park, Maze, on Saturday, June 20, will benefit from efforts to expand on family activities.

First held as the Saintfield Show in 1945, the event routinely attracts exhibitors across a wide range of categories and boasts refreshments, children’s amusements, trade stands, a craft fair and dog show, but this year, a spokesperson said, there had been major changes to try and ensure its future success.

Additional features include a free children’s petting farm, free Eco Mantella “Zoo to You” exhibit, face painting, mascots (get your picture taken with Mickey & Minnie or Elsa from Frozen), balloon modelling, bouncy castles, fairground rides, children’s craft competitions and Mr Funny-Bone magic displays.

The traditional dog show has seen a major revamp in classes and prizes. Said the spokesperson: “There will be classes such as Doggy Diva fashion show, Dogs got Talent, Happiest wagging-tailed dog, Handsomest Dog and Prettiest Bitch, Junior Handler Classes and best Groomed Dog Class.

“Entry fee is £3 per dog. There will be goodie bags for all entrants and a dedicated area with pet stands and demos.From 11am there will be doggie themed party games running in the dog arena.”

The show schedule is now available at www.saintfieldshow.co.uk but anyone who wants a printed copy of a specific section can email secretary@saintfieldshow.co.uk or call 078 2158 8390. The closing date for entries has been extended to June 7.

“This year is effectively a make or break year for this show,” the spokesperson said, “and all entries, support, sponsorship, advertisements etc are greatly appreciated . . . Anyone who wishes to be involved on show day - without the added commitment of being on the committee - is very welcome and should contact the show secretary on 078 2158 8390.”

A re-shaped committee thanked last year’s show secretary, Liz Graham, whose work commitments prevented her reprising the role this year. There were thanks too for recently retired committee members Dr Jimmy McKelvey, Dr Moira McKelvey, Miss Doreen McKelvey, Mr Bill McKelvey, Mr Ben Stephens, Mr Wilbert George, Mrs Vera George, Miss Hilary Gibson, Mrs Shirley Moore and Ms Jane Waugh.

Joining the committee this year are Ellen Mckee, Head of Home Industries, and Paul Horner, Head of Ridden Hunter, while Brian Hunter has succeeded Crosby Cleland as chairman.

Thanks went to Mr Cleland for two years of hard work overseeing the transition to Balmoral Park.