News

Comber Event to Celebrate the Potato

11th April 2013

A special event will be held in Comber on June 29th to celebrate one of Combers most famous exports: its potatoes.

In 2012 the Comber potatoes were granted protected geographical indication (PGI) status under European law. To celebrate and promote the famous potatoes Ards Borough Council has confirmed that a festival will be held on the 29th June in and around the Comber Square. The one day event will showcase Combers most famous product at the height of the growing season and will be the first potato focused event in the whole of Ireland.

Ards councilor Philip Smith proposed the event at the recent Council Development Committee and secured a £15,000 budget for the event. Cllr Smith said he was delighted the council had given its unanimous support to the Potato Festival.

He said: “I hope this year’s festival will be just the start and that we can grow to become a major Northern Ireland event. Comber has had a hard time economically in recent years and I hope that the festival will bring some much needed trade into the town. The farming community has also been struggling with poor weather making growing conditions very difficult. However, the success of last years Titanic Festival showed that Comber people will get behind a good idea and that Comber can attract visitors from outside the area.”

He Added: “The Comber Potato Festival will be all about the producers and the product. It will be a fun and educational festival with the potato as the core theme. The council has been working in partnership with local growers in the Comber Early Potato Group over a number of months to develop the festival idea and we hope to attract additional external funding and sponsorship to add to the initial budget.

I hope the whole community gets behind the Potato Festival and we can create an event that will benefit the local farming industry and Comber traders. I believe this year’s festival can be just the start of something that will grow to become a shop window for Comber and our local produce.

Currently the Comber Potatoes group are apart of the Supply Chain Development Programme, which has over 55 diverse groups participating. To find out more about the programme and the groups involved please telephone 0845 026 7538 or e mail supplychain@countrysiderural.co.uk,