Event: Bushmills Salmon & Whiskey Festival

The best of local food and drink will be on the menu when Bushmills Salmon and Whiskey Festival returns on June 17th and 18th. Now firmly established as a major attraction, thousands of people are expected to take part in the two days of festivities.

Known around the world for its whiskey distillery and salmon station, the Festival celebrates local food and drink producers, with a flavour of song, dance and heritage.
The Mayor of Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council, Alderman Maura Hickey, said: “Bushmills’ reputation for its whiskey goes back centuries, so we have much history to celebrate in the area. The distillery, the salmon station and the River Bush provide a fantastic backdrop for the Festival, and I would encourage everyone to explore the programme of events and enjoy what’s on offer.”

The Main Street in the town will be transformed into a Festival-friendly pedestrian zone, where you will be able to browse through the local produce on offer at the Naturally North Coast and Glens artisan market. With around 30 stalls, the Market is a must-see attraction for anyone interested in food, arts and crafts created in this area.

On Saturday 17th, the River Bush Salmon Station, situated in a beautiful river-side location on Church Street, will be open to the public for tours, talks and demonstrations, giving a unique insight in to the fascinating salmon life cycle, and the important work which takes place at the site.

At the Distillery, visitors will be able to enjoy tasting whiskey and cocktail tasting sessions, and hear all about its 400-year-old history.

For the foodies, a new addition to the Festival calendar is a bespoke Festival Food Tour, in conjunction with Caroline Redmond of North Coast Walking Tours. Offering themed tasters and food stops, it allows participants to sample local food alongside a taste of history.

The Festival marquee, located in Main Street car park, will feature cookery demonstrations over both days, allowing visitors to get up close with some of the best local chefs and our guest celebrity chef.

And if fashion is your thing, the Marquee will be transformed into a catwalk for the Bushmills Lil’ Divas Charity Fashion Show at 7pm on Friday 16th June. The ‘Under the Sea’ themed evening will showcase local fashion and up-styled pieces from the Bushmills Save the Children Shop.

Tickets priced at £10, including festival ‘mocktails’, canapes from The French Rooms and Tartine at The Distillers Arms, and an exclusive ‘must have’ goodie bag are available at various businesses in the town.

Other highlights to look out for include a Festival Cream Tea in Bushmills Presbyterian Church Hall, heritage walking tours, a food and drink trail, traditional music and dance, children’s arts and craft, live music in the bars and themed menus in the local restaurants.

Bushmills Salmon and Whiskey Festival is organised by Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council in conjunction with Bushmills Distillery and the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs.

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Main photo: Chef Gary Stewart from Tartine and Niall Mehaffey from Bushmills Distillery prepare for this year’s Bushmills Salmon and Whiskey Festival which takes place on June 17th and 18th.