Try as it did, torrential rain fails to dampen the good mood as crowds turn out in force for the Bloom festival
Families buried in raincoats danced to music in torrential rain on one of the busiest days of the Bloom festival.
Almost 21,000 people attended the event at Dublin’s Phoenix Park, up from 27,000 on Saturday when the weather was slightly more hospitable.
They just proved that the demand for horticulture, healthy food and drink and a bit of fun, post-Covid, was palpable – despite the worst weather efforts on the penultimate day of Bord’s extravaganza. Bia.
Gráinne Mullins (28), from Co Galway, marked her first flowering yesterday with her new product, Grá Chocolates.
The former pastry chef, who has worked in Michelin-starred restaurants in Ireland and France, set up the business during lockdown in 2020, using her Covid payment to establish her entrepreneurial journey.
“When the pandemic started, I had just won the young chef of the year competition. I thought this was going to be my year and my world was my oyster but it wasn’t.
“So instead, I started making hand-painted Easter eggs in lockdown for my friends and family.”
Now she employs 12 people and is about to leave her parents’ hut.
Karen O’Neill and her partner Helen Kennedy, from Churchtown, south Dublin, also had their first Bloom with their new product, Honey Liquor – another favorite with festival goers.
Couples stopped by the stand to ask questions and taste the 5pc honey-based alcohol as the women explained their passion behind the product to each shopper. “It’s a collaboration between me and the bees,” Karen said.
“It’s something so different and people love it. It’s not a beer, it’s not a cider – it’s a honey refresher.
“I created a whole new type of drink. We infuse drinks with natural ingredients like ginger, lime, avocado and lemon because it’s so fresh.
Karen, a former beverage industry executive, quit her job to pursue her dream of making honey liquor and the project really started to take off during the pandemic.
“I left a successful career to do this because I could see people were looking for other options, better options for them.”
Bloom marks one of its most popular years at the festival, despite the gloomy June weather – with ticket sales expected to exceed expectations.
Fiona Rickard, her husband Brian and Matilda, two, from Portmarnock, north Dublin, attended their first Bloom yesterday with the family.
Fiona and Brian explained that they had just moved into their “forever home” and were visiting the festival to collect ideas for their garden.
“I’ve always wanted to come. I saw great inspiration for our new garden in our new home,” Fiona said.
Meanwhile, Seán Russell won the Designers’ Choice gold award for his sustainable dairy farm garden from the National Dairy Council.