Dromara man Colin Shirlow will step up once again this year to defend his world
title at the Hillsborough Oyster Festival, whose organisers are promising even more sparkle to the event, with news of a major new partner on board.
Many times World Oyster Eating Champion Colin has already been limbering up , so to speak, with a Fourth of July Hotdog Eating Contest’ on Coney Island, New York, no less.
There he took on some of the world’s biggest eaters in an attempt to beat the record of 68 hot dogs in 10 minutes.
His oyster eating recordstands at 233 oysters in three minutes.
As it turned out, Joey Chestnut (30) of San Jose, California, won for the eighth successive time by polishing off 61 hot dogs in 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, luxury champagne house Pol Roger, suppliers to the British aristocracy since 1849, have been announced as headline sponsors of this year’s Oyster Festival from September 2-7.
Said festival chairman Janet Higginson: “We are delighted to announce the Pol Roger Hillsborough International Oyster Festival,
“Oysters and champagne make great partners and we are confident Pol Roger will be a sparkling addition to an already unique festival.
“It’s not just about oysters, however; it’s about good food, good wine and good fun.
“This year, the festival’s nominated charity is Autism NI and we have a wide range of events for all the family that will help to raise money for this very worthy charity.
“We exten d an invitation to the whole of Northern Ireland to come and visit.”
Among the stars of this year’s festival is crooner James Huish.
James will take to the stage with his 10-piece band at the Gala Ball on September 5.
Further information on this year’s programme, which includes a Castle Fun Day, Masters Golf Tournament, Banquet & Ball, Live Concert Night, Super Car Sunday and, of course, the World Oyster Eating Championship, can be found at www.hillsboroughoysterfestival.com.
Pol Roger managing director Paul Camplisson, said of their involvement: “Pol Roger is one of the most prestigious of the grand marque champagnes and since 2012 has been exclusively distributed in Northern Ireland through Drinks Inc.
“We’re delighted to support the Hillsborough International Oyster Festival, one of our most celebrated local events, which for 22 years has supported charities throughout Northern Ireland.”
Set to benefit from support this year, Autism NI is delighted to have been chosen as the nominated charity.
Marketing Manager Kerry Boyd said: “Not only will it be a great opportunity to raise vital funds for Autism NI’s services, which include a Parent Support Network, Training Department, Family Support Service and Helpline, but it also will provide a great platform to raise awareness for this ‘hidden disability’.”
The Pol Roger Hillsborough International Oyster Festival 2014 also receives generous sponsorship from the Northern Ireland Tourist Board and Lisburn City Council.