Thousands visit Montalto to enjoy Country Living Festival

Thousands visit Montalto to enjoy Country Living Festival

1 October 2014

THE Ballynahinch Country Living and Harvest Fair Festival has been labelled an outstanding success. South Down MP, Margaret Ritchie, said the Festival has a ability to act as a stimulus to the local economy.

“It will showcase Ballynahinch, Drumaness and the rural environment, unveiling to the wider public the strong agricultural focus of this local economy along with a range of country sports such as angling and dog trials,” she said.

“In fact, many artisans are able to exhibit their food produce — the culmination of arduous research, innovation and hard work.

“This festival is a celebration of the work and endeavours of many individuals including the Country Living Festival organised by Albert Titterington and others.”

She also praised the sponsors, the Tourist Board, Down Council and the Rural Development Council.

“I now hope that further recognition can be given to this festival, if it becomes a permanent fixture, by both central and local government, because through it’s good work it will be able to embed many small enterprises into our local economy and thus sustain jobs.

“I hope that this festival becomes an annual event in the calendar of events for this constituency.”

Down Council Chairman, William Walker, said he was overwhelmed with the crowds who took to the streets of Ballynahinch town centre and who visited Montalto Estate on Saturday and Sunday.

“I wish to convey my sincere thanks to Albert Titterington, his team and Montalto Estate and to Priscilla McAlinden and all the council staff who were involved in delivering the town centre event,” he said. 

“Praise and appreciation must be extended to the shopkeepers, sponsors, performers and indeed the wider community who made such a huge effort to create an event which was thoroughly enjoyed by the people of Down district and to those who travelled to the town and country for the celebrations.”

Festival organiser, Albert Titterington, Director of the Great Game Fairs of Ireland, said the Ballynahinch event was an outstanding success.

“We were delighted to welcome thousands of visitors to the wonderful Montalto Estate to enjoy a fabulous mix of events and attractions celebrating all that’s wonderful in country sports, pursuits and lifestyles.  The estate looked absolutely magnificent, bathed in glorious autumn sunshine, and there was a marvellously friendly and relaxed atmosphere all weekend. 

 “I was particularly pleased to see that on Saturday our horse drawn cavalcade and battle re-enactment added to the innovative council-organised family fun day in the heart of Ballynahinch and meant the whole town was buzzing with excitement.

“The target we had set for  the twin locus event was that we would attract 15,000 people to the Ballynahinch area over the weekend. We are delighted to say we achieved that objective. Both the town on the Saturday and the estate on Saturday and Sunday played host to thousands of happy families.

 “I’d like to thank all those whose hard work and enthusiasm combined to showcase Ballynahinch at its best this weekend, notably the traders, hospitality sector and business community of Ballynahinch and surrounding area especially those who decorated their business premises with a harvest theme.   

“They really embraced the commercial and promotional opportunities which the event delivered and, I hope, benefited accordingly.  The whole community got behind its own ‘Fall Festival’ and the results spoke volumes about the unique attractions of this historic market town. 

“Of course nothing can be done at this scale without the far-sighted support of major funders so I would like, on behalf of us all, to express my gratitude to Down District Council, the Northern Ireland Tourist Board, EAFRD and DARD through the Rural Development Programme.  They all recognised the economic benefits of the Ballynahinch Harvest & Country Living Festival to the town and county and I hope we have now planted a seed which will grown and bear fruit in the coming years.


 “One of our re-enactors returning from the re-enactment of the Battle of Ballynahinch in the town reported he had been tickled by this comment he heard, ‘That was the most people in Ballynahinch since the Battle of Ballynahinch.’ “