50,000 visitors enjoy Rose Week

By Paul Ainsworth

A WHOPPING 50,000 visitors descended on a South Belfast park over the past week for a summer event that blossomed despite some seriously soggy weather. Sir Thomas and Lady Dixon Park held the most successful Rose Week to date, in which International Rose trials were held amid other festivities celebrating the South Belfast park.

Lady Dixon has long links with rose breeding, producing a number of strains celebrated across the world, including the ‘Sea Pearl’ and ‘Granda Dickson’ flowers.

Locals and tourists alike flocked to the park, which recently scooped a prestigious ‘Green Flag’ award for presentation and visitor-friendly facilities.

Local SDLP Councillor and Deputy Chair of Belfast’s parks and Leisure Committee, Bernie Kelly praised the work of the team behind Rose Week, and said South Belfast businesses had received a much-needed boost as a result of the huge visitor numbers.

“People came to this event from all over the world, and it was a fantastic opportunity for South Belfast to show what it has to offer,” she said.

“We all got a chance to experience just why the park received its Green Flag award, joining other local green spaces like Botanic Gardens and Ormeau Park.”

Along with the flower show, visitors enjoyed food fairs, live music, and even a traditional Punch and Judy show. Parks Committee Chairman Gerard McCabe added: “We are happy that there was something for everyone and we are already looking towards next year’s event.

“We listen to visitors’ views about what they like, what they might want to see more of and we incorporate them into our plans for next year.”

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