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Republic of Ireland
Bloom Festival is Republic of Ireland's largest gardening show. It is a popular five-day event, held each year in Phoenix Park, Dublin. It was first held in 2007, and is organised by Bord Bia (The Irish Food Board).
The fourth festival was opened by President of Ireland Mary McAleese on 3 June 2010. Chinese ambassador Liu Biwei and the Earl of Rosse were among other notable attendants. Ex Chelsea Flower Show judge Andrew Wilson also judged at this event. The event featured 24 gardens spread across 10 acres (4.0 ha) of Phoenix Park. The winner of Super Garden, an RTÉ competition, was among them. Awards are given for the best gardens: in 2010, best in show was given to a garden which had been conceived following heavy flooding. The festival featured professional gardeners, an artisan food market and culinary displays from several celebrity chefs.(In latter years the show has become more of a food show,with garden designers finding it hard to get sponsorship,and the food board Bord Bia,pushing its food agenda)
President McAleese has said attending Bloom led her family to develop their own home-grown vegetables.
Around 8,000 people visited during the opening day in 2010, a record attendance for a weekday at the festival. This was an increase of fifty per cent on similar figures from the previous year. The warm weather – temperatures were 23 °C – were said to have been responsible for increased attendances. It was anticipated that between 60,000 and 70,000 people would attend the 2010 event. Tickets cost €25 in 2010, though could have been purchased online for five euro cheaper.
The event leads to increased levels of traffic around the Phoenix Park area for much of the day. Bord Bia organise buses as an incentive for members of the general public to make use of public transport. Long queues are common. The Show has been run by Louise Mc Loughlin, since the show started in 2007, assisted by Gareth Buckley and Garry Grahem(Food Board)
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