The World Oyster Eating Championship in Hillsborough, Co Down, this weekend expects to see major international hitters challenge local champion Colin Shirlow.
Known as the ‘UK’s Oyster King’, Co Down man Colin, who has won the championship eight times, holds the Guinness World Record for knocking back a whopping 233 oysters in just three minutes.
As well as competitors from Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Spain, South Africa, Lithuania, England, Scotland and Wales, two American giants of ‘competitive eating’ are arriving in Hillsborough to threaten Colin’s crown at the big eat-off on Saturday, September 7.
The larger than life Bob Shoudt, known to his legion of fans as Notorious B.O.B., holds a raft of world records in competitive eating, including devouring 39 Krystal hamburgers in two minutes and 34.75 beef brisket sandwiches in ten minutes.
More than 12,000 pints of Guinness, 4,000 glasses of Champagne and 6,000 oysters will be enjoyed at what has become one of Europe’s leading food festivals.
Significantly expanded this year, the Gourmet Food Market on Saturday September 7th will be brimming with fantastic local seafood and great Northern Irish produce. There will also be cookery demonstrations by leading chefs such as Niall McKenna, Danny Millar, Derek Patterson and Andy Rae as the Festival continues to put Northern Irish produce on the map.
But organisers say fabulous food and drink is only part of the story.
This year’s schedule features a range of scintillating events to delight families, foodies, film buffs, fashionistas and fun-lovers alike.
A bumper entertainment schedule includes a crazy cabaret cinema event. The Festival’s ‘Nite at the Flicks’ featuring the Rocky Horror Picture Show, with optional fancy dress as well as a complimentary cocktail to get the party started! As well as the iridescent ‘Diamonds & Pearls Fashion Show’ and a special concert featuring the inimitable Flash Harry.
All the popular family favourites make a return to the festival bill this year including the Multi-Cultural Procession and Wacky Soapbox Race. Sporting highlights include the Super Car Sunday, Oysters Masters Golf and a Charity Cycle Ride.
The red carpet will be rolled out on September 6 for a night of unforgettable Hollywood style and glamour - the Festival Banquet and Gala Ball, which this year is themed around ‘A Night at the Oscars’.
For a complete guide to the Hillsborough International Oyster Festival 2013, including online ticket purchases, visit: www.hillsboroughoysterfestival.com.