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Video: More than 100,000 people expected to attend Balmoral Show

Cormac McKervey, Ulster Bank's Senior Agriculture Manager, Cyril Millar, President of the Royal Ulster Agricultural Society and Richard Donnan, Ulster Bank's Head of Northern Ireland launch this year's Balmoral Show
John Monaghan

THE Balmoral Show - the showpiece event of the north's agricultural calendar - returns today for its 149th year.

More than 100,000 people are expected to attend the Balmoral Park outside Lisburn, with participants in this year's event set to enjoy an extra fourth day of festivities.

Starting at 9.30am - put back by organisers to avoid the morning rush hour - it will run until 6pm on Saturday evening, with an extended opening time of 8pm on Thursday.

Given the anticipated crowds, organisers are encouraging those attending to use public transport, following complaints about delays and traffic congestion last year.

Shuttle buses will operate between Lisburn train station and the venue between 9am and 6.20pm, while there is free car parking available at the King's Hall in Belfast for those wishing to take the train from the nearby Balmoral station to Lisburn.

It will be the fifth year that the event has been held at the Lisburn site, after it moved from the King's Hall in 2013.

If you have not got pre-booked tickets, you can pay at the door, with tickets on the day costing £18 for adults, with discounts for children up to the age of 17 and over-65s.

More than 700 trade stands will be on display for visitors, with the latest plant and farm machinery, arts and crafts, while there will be around 100 companies offering food and drink in the food pavilion.

More than 100,000 people are expected to attend the Balmoral Show. Picture by Cliff Donaldson

TV chef Jean-Christophe Novelli, who is due to open his first restaurant in Belfast, will be cooking several dishes at a Food NI event on Saturday.

Among the many attractions includes a live robotic milking display, livestock competitions, and a farm, fun-fair and donkey displays for children.

The Young Farmers' Club day will take place on Thursday, with a host of activities for young and old.

However, not all animals are welcome, with dog owners reminded that their four-legged friends are not permitted at the show.

Children get a surprise at last year's Balmoral Show. Picture by Cliff Donaldson

DUP North Antrim MP Ian Paisley Jr will be among those helping out, volunteering as a steward following an appeal from the Royal Ulster Agricultural Society's President last year.

For further information visit www.balmoralshow.co.uk and www.translink.co.uk.

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