Bord Bia Bloom sees 100,000 visitors attend festival

More than 250 retail and foodservice buyers met with 100 plus Irish food and drink companies at the Bord Bia trade breakfast

Pictured: Abbi Fay, aged 10, from Slane, Co. Meath admires the flowers in the show garden ‘Coming Home To Nature’

Bord Bia Bloom 2024 attracted more than 100,000 visitors to Dublin’s Phoenix Park throughout the June Bank Holiday weekend. Event organisers reported that business was thriving, and spirits were high all weekend long in part due to the sunshine, which made a welcome appearance and remained constant throughout.

Business was Bloomin’

Visitors were spending their money at Bloom and many exhibitors reported strong sales and a need to restock throughout the weekend.

Joe Cowley, project coordinator, Harp Renewables, said: “Our Harp Bio-digesters include a range of aerobic food waste digesters for domestic use. Our products really resonated with the festival attendees and this year’s show has been a massive success for us. We have generated huge sales, in fact we completely sold out on day one and day two! We will be back next year!”

Boyne Garden Centre & Nursery from Slane in Co. Meath were exhibiting in the outdoor Nursery Village and won Gold Best in Show for their display.

Aileen Muldoon Byrne, owner, Boyne Garden Centre & Nursery, said: “We are so proud of our award! Winning at Bloom provides a boost to our company morale, and to our mail order service. The feedback we received from attendees over the last five days has been positive, not just for our display but across the festival. We can’t wait to come back!”

Bord Bia Bloom 2024 in numbers 

As the festival draws to a close, Bord Bia has released some of the event facts and figures from the last five days:

  • This year’s show featured 22 show and feature gardens, 13 postcard gardens, 18 nursery displays, and more than 100 food and drink producers.
  • The prestigious judging panel consisted of 13 Irish and international horticultural experts, and awards were handed out to show garden designers, amateur postcard garden designers; plant nurseries and floral artists.
  • The plant creche onsite looked after 3,870 plants in total.
  • An estimated 4,250 ice cream cones were enjoyed by Bloom visitors.
  • 30% of visitors arrived via public transport or on foot.
  • There were 5,000 plants potted by children over the five days and 900 sunflower seeds given to children attending.
  • More than 250 retail and foodservice buyers met with 100 plus Irish food and drink companies at the Bord Bia trade breakfast on Friday morning
  • More than 1,800 people worked onsite each of the five days, including 100 Bord Bia staff volunteers and 130 volunteers.
  • It will take 14 days to clear the Bord Bia Bloom site.

Final Day Awards 

The final day of the festival also marked the announcement of a number of awards, including:

  • The People’s Choice Award, where visitors to the festival vote for their favourite show garden, was awarded to Tusla Fostering Garden – ‘Together We Grow’ designed by Robert Moore
  • The Bloom 2024 garden designers selected the Designer’s Choice Award, and this year the accolade was presented to Nicola Haines for her ‘Coming Home to Nature’ garden for Fingal County Council, which was also awarded the best large garden at Bord Bia Bloom 2024.

Bord Bia also presented two food awards this year for the first time: 

  • The Visitor’s Choice Food Award gathered votes from visitors for their favourite food truck and the Eathos food truck, which has three restaurants in Dublin City Centre, was selected as this year’s winner.
  • Finally, the Best Dressed Award went to the Co. Westmeath based Killua Farm food truck, for their creative Bloom-inspired floral display.

Sustainable Gardens 

In keeping with previous years, and the renewed focus on sustainability and waste reduction at Bord Bia Bloom, many elements of the show and feature gardens will be relocated after the event. Details can be found here.

Dates for 2025

Bord Bia has confirmed that Bloom 2025 will take place from Thursday, 29 May to Monday 2 June next year.

Jim O’Toole, chief executive, Bord Bia, said: “We work hard every year to plan and deliver an event that appeals to our diverse and broadening visitor demographic and the success of this year’s event demonstrates that after eighteen years, Bloom remains popular and relevant among the Irish people.

“We collaborate with over 100 Irish food and drink producers, as well as Ireland’s top garden designers, nurseries, and horticulture companies, all of which are showcasing their goods and services to the 100,000+ festival attendees. Exhibitors have an opportunity to engage with consumers, introduce their businesses, products and new services, which results in order books being filled for the upcoming year. As event organisers, we are delighted to see how Bloom has established itself as a must-attend summer event for both businesses and consumers.”

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