Bushmills Salmond and Whiskey Festival this weekend

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The highly successful Bushmills Salmon and Whiskey Festival will take place in the village 18-20th September.

The festival now in its 4th year has increased its programme to offer a fantastic range of events to cater for the foodie, the sportsman, fun lovers, dancers, whiskey lovers, poets, story tellers and even historians.

The festival which is organised by the Bushmills Traders Association (BTA) celebrates the culture and heritage of the local area, and the villages links with the River Bush and Bushmills Distillery.

Some highlights of the entertainment on offer include:


The festival’s extensive programme of events literally kick off on Friday evening with a youth five-a-side football tournament followed by a dance which will raise funds for a statue to commemorate local Victoria Cross winner, First World War hero Robert Quigg.


Saturday offers a day long programme of events, including tours of the salmon fishery and Bushmills Distillery, walking tours, cream teas, glass blowing, storytelling, helicopter rides and a street market featuring local artisans and food producers.

Saturday will also see something for dog lovers at this year’s event, a demonstration of Flyball, described by the organisers as “a very fast 4 dog hurdle race”.

The main stage will have full programme of live music and dance throughout and the day will be complemented by a two hour visit from the Downtown Radio “Big T” Road show.

Willie Drennan will bring the musical festivities to a close with a gig featuring stirring music, lore and laughter.

Food lovers will have a special treat at a cookery demonstration with the renowned Paula McIntyre supported by local chefs cooking up their festival favourites.

Throughout the weekend local pubs and restaurants will also be featuring musical entertainment and a range of special menu dishes using locally sourced salmon and Bushmills whiskey as key ingredients.


Sunday events include a Gymkhana, pop and hip hop dancing, vintage afternoon teas and 10k a fun run starting and finishing at Bushmills distillery.

The festival will come to a close on Sunday evening in the Bayview Hotel Portballintrae by celebrating the village’s links with Louisville Kentucky with a tasting of the Original Louisville cocktail “Old Fashioned”.

Alderman Sharon McKillop, chairman of the organising committee said: “The festival celebrates what Bushmills is famous for its ‘Salmon and Whiskey’ it has now become a firm date in the calendar and is getting bigger each year.

“It attracts a very significant number of visitors and provides an opportunity for everyone to highlight the attractions of the village and the talent, spirt and creativity of local people but most of all it provides locals and visitors alike the opportunity to have a bit of fun”.