Potato Festival returns to the Giant’s Causeway

Niall,Chloe, and Kerry Jamison from Jamison Potatoes are all set for the potato Festival at the Giants Causeway on Saturday 1st  October supported by events on Thursday 29th and Friday 30th September. . PICTURE STEVEN MCAULEY/MCAULEY MULTIMEDIA
Niall,Chloe, and Kerry Jamison from Jamison Potatoes are all set for the potato Festival at the Giants Causeway on Saturday 1st October supported by events on Thursday 29th and Friday 30th September. . PICTURE STEVEN MCAULEY/MCAULEY MULTIMEDIA

The fourth annual Northern Ireland Potato Festival returns to the Giants Causeway next week.

This young festival is growing at an amazing rate thanks to the quality of the offering at this free event and brings together members of the public and the farming community in a celebration of all aspects of the local potato industry.

The mighty spud with some who attended the launch of the Potato festival

The mighty spud with some who attended the launch of the Potato festival

This year the festival committee have been busy working to pull everything together for this year’s main event on Saturday 1st October supported by events on Thursday 29th and Friday 30th September.

This year the event will combine with the National Trust Open Day at the Giant’s Causeway, meaning visitors not only get to visit the festival for free but also the world renowned Giants Causeway providing an entirely free fun day for all the family.

The program of events:

Thursday 11am: A guided visit to Chipmaster, one of Northern Ireland’s leading growers and producer of potatoes. Register early for this visit - see full details on www.facebook.com/nipotatofestival or 07759092927 to book your place.

Maurice McHenry with sponsors  at the launch of the potato Festival at the Causeway Hotel

Maurice McHenry with sponsors at the launch of the potato Festival at the Causeway Hotel

Friday 7pm- 9pm: Community in the Causeway Hotel. Engaging the local community in a night of entertainment.

Saturday 10am – 5pm: The main Northern Ireland Potato Festival and National Trust Community Open Day at the Giant’s Causeway including: Potato producers, growers, artisan foods, exhibitions, talks, children’s activities, cooking demonstrations, helicopter rides, displays, craft stalls and lots more!

The Northern Ireland Potato Festival, supported by the Northern Ireland Regional Food Programme(DARD & InvestNI), will return to the Causeway Coast on Saturday, October 1 from 10am to 5pm.

The festival was initiated to celebrate the memory of John Clarke, Ireland’s most famous potato breeder. Clarke bred 33 varieties in total, most with the prefix Ulster.

Officals and guests with the Mayor Maura Hickey at the launch of the potato Festival at the Causeway Hotel.

Officals and guests with the Mayor Maura Hickey at the launch of the potato Festival at the Causeway Hotel.

He cooperated with The Plant Breeding Institute at Cambridge in providing stock and knowledge to help develop their Maris varieties. Maris Piper is the “grandson” of a Clarke variety and is the most popular variety in Britain with a total of 16% of the total crop grown.

Full story on our websites and on our Facebook!

Clarke was a man who achieved against the odds. He was orphaned at the age of nine and left school at the age of twelve. He educated himself through the local library. All his work was done in North Antrim and he owned the farm at The Giants Causeway which is now operated by The National Trust. A Blue Plaque was erected in April 2013 by The Ulster History Society at “Innisfree”, the house where John Clarke lived.

The Potato Festival is held in a region known and respected for the strength of the local agri-food industry, world-class food and beautiful scenery, the festival is free to members of the public. Once again our aim is to promote this important economic sector to tourists and local visitors alike. This year the event also coincides with a National Trust free open day at the Causeway which will complement the festival.