Thousands of visitors are expected to converge on Sir Thomas and Lady Dixon Park next week as Belfast’s annual Rose Week gets underway marking the 50th anniversary of the City of Belfast International Rose Garden.
Rose Week runs from Monday 21 July to Sunday 27 July with free family fun and around a million blooms to be enjoyed.
Chairman of Belfast City Council’s Parks and Leisure Committee, Councillor Gareth McKee, said: “We want to attract thousands of extra visitors to help us celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Rose Garden which was established by the council in partnership with the Rose Society of Northern Ireland.
“As well as exciting activities we are unveiling a plaque at the Rose Garden while the International Judges are visiting on Thursday, 24 July – the garden is recognised by the World Federation of Rose Societies as a ‘ Garden of Merit’ meaning it is one of the best in the world.
“To celebrate the 50th anniversary we will be encouraging visitors to spot the ‘golden’ flowers among the blooms – roses such as Golden Flush, Heart of Gold, Golden Gate and the lovely sounding Golden Smile,” said Councillor McKee.
The fun-filled family Rose Week offers everything from children’s entertainment, live music, and dancing to competitions, rose displays and plant stalls as well as 1,000,000 blooms on display.
Family activities take place between 1-5pm each day. New attractions this year include water zorbing, boxercise, kite-making and on the final Sunday, 27 July, the adventurous can zoom across Sir Thomas and Lady Dixon Park on a 40meter zip line.
“Children love the entertainment provided, and parents and older people can enjoy dazzling displays, plant stalls, music, dancing and the knock out scent of the roses. We will also have a special exhibition of old photographs and memorabilia of Rose Week from years gone by,” said the councillor.
“Thursday will be judging day for the International Rose Trials – always an exciting and nervous time for the rose growers in competition. This year the judging panel will have members from as far away as New Zealand and the US as well as closer to home like the Netherlands and Norway, Scotland and the Republic of Ireland,” added Councillor McKee.
Stewards will be available to help with disabled parking but the public is being encouraged to travel to Sir Thomas and Lady Dixon using the special Rose Week bus, available from Stand 1 at the Europa Bus Centre, Glengall Street.
The first bus leaves the centre at 1pm travelling directly to Sir Thomas and Lady Dixon Park upper car park with the last journey returning at 7pm. Adult return tickets cost £2.00 with children’s available for £1.00.
More information on Rose Week available at www.belfastcity.gov.uk/roseweek