The only way is Hillsborough

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The 23rd Hillsborough Oyster Festival kicks off on Tuesday 2nd September promising once again a cram packed programme of events and activities for all the family including the Annual World International Oyster Eating Championships.

This year all proceeds raised at the Festival will benefit the much needed work of the charity Autism NI

Getting the programme in to full swing on the 2nd will be the golfers taking part in the Glenfarclas Whisky sponsored Masters Golf at Lisburn Golf Club.

On Thursday morning a team of enthusiastic cyclists will set off from Galway – the home of the Galway Oyster Festival – to cycle to Hillsborough and arrive on Saturday 6th with the greetings of the people of Galway to those gathered in Hillsborough for the main Festival Day.

Back in Hillsborough, Thursday sees the intriguingly named ‘The Only Way is Hillsborough’ event in the Grand Marquee featuring style and beauty demonstrations and music by James Huish.

Particularly looking forward to this event, Janet Higginson, Chair of the Hillsborough International Oyster Festival Organising Committee said: “The Only Way is Hillsborough is set to be a fun filled night for all things glam. We are delighted to have experts from Natural Hair Company, Natural Beauty, Clinique Sprucefield and Ciara Daly Make-up taking part in the event as well as music from James Huish and drinks courtesy of our Festival sponsors Pol Roger.”

Also on Thursday are the NI Heats of the Oyster Eating Championship which will take place in The Plough.

The current world record holder Dromore man Colin Shirlow – who has held the world record since 2005 when he ate 233 oysters in 3 minutes – is defending his title again and is determined to set a new record this year.

This year’s Festival Gala Ball on Friday 6 is themed ‘A Night at the Musicals’. It promises to be an evening of top class entertainment from James Huish and his band

. Once again Derek Patterson of The Plough has devised the Gala Ball Dinner, which will feature the best of local ingredients.

Saturday September 6 as always will see Hillsborough Village alive with a fun-filled programme of street entertainment, multi-cultural performances, children’s activities, live music, food and craft stalls, The Wacky Soap Box Derby and of course the World Oyster Eating Championship! Cool FM/DTR will be broadcasting live from the event throughout the day.

The day will end with a Live Concert and BBQ, featuring Blondie and Rihanna tribute bands.

The eagerly anticipated SuperCar Sunday will round off the Festival giving car enthusiasts young and old the opportunity to step into their dream machine and enjoy performance driving.

Tickets for the Festival Events are available from Hillsborough Tourist Information Centre, Lisburn Tourist Information Centre, The Plough Inn, The Hillside and The Parson’s Nose. For more information on the Festival programme visit the Hillsborough Oyster Fetsival website online at