The Aldi Marquee is set to steal the show at this year’s National Ploughing Championships (23 – 25 September 2014) at Ratheniska, Co Laois next week. The stunning exterior clad in a ‘living wall’ of herbs and flowers sets the tone for a beautifully designed space showcasing Aldi’s suppliers and the very best of Irish produce, with a few special guests too. Two large venues within the Aldi Marquee will feature entertainment by the D’Unbelievable’s hilarious Jon Kenny, Gaeltacht superstars Seo Linn, and the legendary Sharon Shannon, all with guest MC Síle Seoige.
The first National Brown Bread Baking Competition since 1973 will be hosted in the Aldi Marquee. Hotly contested, the huge number of entrants nationwide has now been whittled down to just 8, who will compete on Tuesday and Wednesday for a place in Thursday’s final. Representing their county and with the title of Ireland’s Best Brown Bread Baker up for grabs, this prestigious competition, sponsored by Aldi and in association with the National Ploughing Association and the Irish Countrywomen’s Association, is firmly back on the annual calendar and is sure to draw a crowd.
Visitors to the Aldi Marquee are in for a treat. Aldi has recreated a traditional Irish street, with a bakery, a fishmonger, a delicatessen, a butcher and more, each showcasing Aldi’s multi award-winning products proudly presented by the producers themselves. It’s an opportunity to ‘meet the makers’ of Aldi’s Irish products, hear the story behind them, and try them too.
At the top of the street, the bandstand area will be buzzing, with a traditional Ice Cream Van, a Coffee House and an open fronted kitchen, busy serving up samples of Aldi’s delicious hot food, from sausages in the morning, through to lunch time snacks and tea time treats. In the afternoon the bandstand itself will host a very special live performance with Seo Linn on Tuesday and Sharon Shannon on Wednesday.
An event as special as deciding Ireland’s best brown bread deserves its own venue, so just off the street there’s a separate area, specially created to host the live baking competition. It’s here, in the mornings, that you’ll find the comedic favourite, Jon Kenny, who has created a cast of characters especially for the event. Each morning, come along on the hour to delight in the live caricatures of a farmer, a hunter, a jockey and a hurler!