Business blooming at garden festival

NUMBERS at Bord Bia’s Bloom 2011 in Dublin are already showing a significant increase on previous years.

More than 12,000 visitors attended the first day of the event at Phoenix Park on Thursday, up by 20% on previous first days.

Trends from other years show a continued increase on days two and three, and a total in excess of 60,000 visitors is expected at the event over the five days.

On Thursday, 78 medals were awarded to the 27 show gardens and other floral displays at the event under a variety of categories, including interactive gardens.

Labelled as Ireland’s largest gardening event, Bloom has a number of additions for its 2011 event.

This year there is a craft village to celebrate the 2011 Year of Craft, where adults and children alike are treated to craft demonstrations, workshops and a dedicated retail area featuring more than 20 of Ireland’s top craftspeople.

Another addition this year is the Bord Bia Food Village, consisting of seven different areas. The village showcases Irish food and drink, tips for planting, growing and cooking your own produce, as well as celebrity cooking demonstrations on the ‘Chef’s Summer Kitchen Stage’.

Children are well provided for over the bank holiday weekend with a ‘Bloom Kids’ Zone’ featuring stories, a creative cafe and for the more active children, The Little Gym.

Birdwatch Ireland, the Irish Wildlife Trust and the Beekeepers Association are on site for the weekend, providing the opportunity to learn more about each species in a fun way, with nature walks and workshops aimed at a younger audience.

Tickets are available online or at the event.

Tickets for Saturday, Sunday or Monday are priced €20 for adults and concessions are €15. Children under 16 go free, accompanied by adults.

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