Orchard County marks its first three-day apple blossom festival

Kara Morgan, Lucy McGeary and Chloe O'Neill are ready for three days of festival fun at the inaugural Apple Blossom Festival across county Armagh during the May bank holiday weekend (April 30 � May 2). For more information visit www.armagh.co.uk/appleblossom.
Kara Morgan, Lucy McGeary and Chloe O'Neill are ready for three days of festival fun at the inaugural Apple Blossom Festival across county Armagh during the May bank holiday weekend (April 30 � May 2). For more information visit www.armagh.co.uk/appleblossom.

If you love apples, apple juice, cider, and tarts, with a generous helping of fun and entertainment, the good news is that Armagh’s Apple Blossom Festival is now three days long and not far away.

Celebrating its Orchard County status, Armagh will mark the start of this year’s growing season over the May Day Bank Holiday weekend from Saturday, April 30 to Monday, May 2 against the breath-taking pink backdrop of 4,000 flower-filled acres of land.

On Saturday 30 April, the county’s rich apple-growing heritage is proudly celebrated as three of the local apple industry’s leading experts – Morgan’s Apple Farm, Apple Blossom Bakery and the Armagh Cider Company – join forces to provide a series of specially-arranged tours, cookery demos, juice and cider tasting, a pig-on-a-spit lunch and don’t forget the apple tart as part of this tour.

The focus of the second day of the festival is Ardress house, a National Trust property nestled amongst the famed pink and white apple blossom. Visitors can enjoy house and orchard tours, picnics and farmyard fun, music and entertainment from the Armagh Rhymers, cider, a ‘grow your own’ workshop (Monday only), a bee-keeping demo and a barbeque.

Bank Holiday Monday is a real treat with events happening at Loughgall Country Park and Ardress House. In the Park spend time enjoying cookery demos, the vintage tea tent, barbeques, food and craft stalls, music, face painting and ballooning modelling; lots to amuse everyone for hours in the warmer May sunshine. A return shuttle bus will operate between the two locations from noon.

Lord Mayor of Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon, Darryn Causby, said: “Rural Armagh is famously and widely-renowned as the Orchard County, growing some of the finest apples in the world. The humble Armagh Bramley Apple has become a worldwide phenomenon, securing the esteemed PGI status in 2012.

“A hugely popular annual event, this year’s Apple Blossom Fair has evolved to become a full three-day festival and I know that our local citizens and visitors alike will be delighted with the thrilling menu of activity on offer.”

Admission to the Apple Blossom Fair at Loughgall Country Park is just £5.00 per person and under 5’s go free. For further information on ticket prices and booking information for all other events, please contact Armagh Visitor Information Centre on 028 3752 1800 or visit www.armagh.co.uk/appleblossom.