by Richard Buckley, Editor, Business Eye

Antrim is set to delight foodie fans across Northern Ireland this summer with the launch of its first ever Food & Craft Festival. Running from Friday 16 – Sunday 18 July 2021, the NI Food & Craft Festival will deliver a feast of family fun, aiming to celebrate the best of local produce, from gastronomical delights and bespoke beverages to an abundance of artisan craft makers.


Developed in partnership with Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council and key sponsors, The Junction Retail & Leisure Park, Castle Mall Shopping Centre and Urban Events NI, the three-day long festival comprises of a jam-packed events programme across four main locations.

Antrim’s largest shopping and leisure destination, The Junction will act as the festival’s food hub, showcasing a mouth-watering range of local food and beverage producers, cooking demonstrations, award-winning food trucks and family entertainment. The Festival’s official drinks partner, Jake’s Cocktail Bar, will also host a pop-up garden where visitors can sit back and soak up the atmosphere.

Market Square’s perfectly positioned town-centre location, right next to Castle Mall, paired with its historic backdrop will be an appropriate home for an enchanting twilight market and a variety of events and art and craft markets.

The majestic Antrim Castle Gardens will be a scenic setting for a Picnic in the Park featuring a pop-up farm and will also provide festival revellers with multiple ‘Meet the Maker’ opportunities, and just a short walk along the river, visitors can enjoy family entertainment at the beautiful Lough Shore Park.

Additionally, restaurants, bars and retail stores within the surrounding area of the festival zone are signing up to be part of the gastronomical weekend by offering specialised dining options and menus.

Thomas Ferris, events and operations manager at Urban Events NI said:

“The NI Food & Craft Festival will be the out and about experience that we have all been waiting for this summer – and with several spacious and outdoor locations lined up to host the festivities, Antrim is the perfect location to run what we hope will become an annual event.

“From hosting regular Urban Market events at The Junction every month, we recognise that now more than ever, people want to ‘live local’ and support homegrown producers and local bricks and mortar venues on their doorstep. This event provides an opportunity to do just that – and offer both local businesses and traders a space to join forces and thrive together.”

A shuttle bus service will run between the three main locations on Saturday 17th and Sunday 18th July

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The Mayor of Antrim and Newtownabbey, Councillor Billy Webb, Castle Mall Centre Manager, Pamela Minford and Events & Operations Manager of Urban Events NI, Thomas Ferris, launch Antrim’s first ever Food & Craft Festival.

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