The official website of Visit Ards and North Down

Comber Earlies Food Festival

Comber Town Centre, Comber, County Down, BT23 5DU
Hands holding Comber Early potatoes


Please note, this event took place on 24 June 2023. These are some of the activities that took place. Keep an eye on this page for exciting details of the 2024 festival.


Saturday 24 June 2023

12noon - 6pm | NEW LOCATION: Comber Leisure Centre Car Park, Comber, County Down, BT23 5DT

This is a FREE event - no ticket required to attend the event.

Part of the Ards and North down Taste Summer Programme of events, Saturday 17 - Sunday 24 June 2023. To view the full programme, click here.

The annual Comber Earlies Food Festival is a wonderful day out filled with family fun, cookery demos in the Festival Kitchen and activities that celebrate the Comber Earlies potato which holds PGI Status.

On Saturday 24 June, enjoy a wealth of artisan food and drink stalls, celebrity chef demos by Paula McIntyre, children's entertainment and lots more foodie favourites at this free family event! 

Showcasing local food and drink, at a new location, Comber Leisure Centre Carpark, this year the festival is even bigger and better! There will be live music throughout the day, discussions with food heroes and an Artisan Bar – why not try a specially curated Comber Cocktail?

Also, don't miss the Comber Earlies Festival Afternoon Tea - pre-ordering open now! (Note, limited supply. Afternoon Tea boxes must be pre-ordered by Thursday 22 June).

Festival Kitchen

Paula McIntyre

We are thrilled that Paula McIntyre, author, TV presenter and one of Northern Ireland's leading chefs, is joining us to show off her culinary talents. Paula has hosted the cooking slot on Radio Ulster's Saturday Magazine programme since 2004 and writes weekly recipe columns for Farming Life and the Belfast Telegraph Weekend magazine. Find out more about Paula here.

There will also be demonstrations from Lotte Duncan, Poppy O'Toole and South Eastern Regional College.

Lotte Duncan

Lotte Duncan is a skilled and highly experienced broadcaster. Recognised as a leading authority on English cooking, she brings thirty years of food experience to her television presenting, live stage hosting and compering with a light, friendly and humorous touch. Find out more about Lotte and what she will be cooking here

Poppy O'Toole

Michelin-trained internet sensation Poppy O’Toole amassed a following of over 4.1 million followers online under her profile Poppy Cooks after losing her job because of the pandemic in 2020. 

Known for creating easy-to-follow, restaurant style, recipe tutorials for her audience, Poppy has achieved over 300 million views on her channel since April 2020.
Following almost a decade in professional kitchens, Poppy is now a judge on the debut series of BBC’s Young MasterChef, as well as an author to her debut cookbook The Food You Need in 2021, and The Actually Delicious Air Fryer Cookbook.

Local Food and Drink

Pick up delicious treats from a wide range of vendors. Grab a snack and drinks at the event, as well as some treats to take home and enjoy over the coming days. With many local artisanal producers of delicious food and drink, and of course those tasty Comber Earlies Potatoes  you will be spoilt for choice. Why not take the opportunity to chat to members of the Taste AND Food and Drink network about their passion for local produce? 


Family Fun 

Enjoy brass bands, children’s entertainment, including harvest themed sensory play with potato crafts and even a vintage tractor display. Find the gold potatoes hidden around the venue and claim your goodie bag from the Ards and North Down Borough Council Visitor Information Centre caravan.



Festival Stage in Comber Leisure Centre Carpark

1:00pm - 3:00pm | Cool Hand String Band  -  Energetic, bluegrass enthusiasts who bring a modern spin to the genre.

4:00pm - 6:00pm | Anna's Number - Bringing the 'showband' into the Instagram generation, from 60s rock 'n' roll and 70s funk/soul classics, to noughties Clubland bangers and viral TikTok hits.

Brass Bands in Comber Square

12noon - 1.30pm | Lily of the Valley Accordion Band

2:00pm - 3:30pm | Comber Brass Band

4:00pm - 4:30pm | Comber Youth Band

Please note: Comber Leisure Centre Carpark will be closed from 7am Thursday 22 June through until 8am Sunday 25 June.                                                                     

Additional Parking on the day of the event:                                                                           

Second Presbyterian Church Carpark - Killinchy Street, Comber, BT23 5AP (Available Thursday 22, Friday 23 and Saturday 24 June)

First Comber Church Carpark 65 - 67 High Street, Comber, BT23 5HL (Saturday 24 June - AFTER 1PM)                                                                           

Limited disabled parking will be available beside toilets on Bridge Street (directly across from event site), and will be on a first come first served basis.  



We encourage visitors to travel via public transport and the FREE buses provided. There are fresh water stations on site, so bring along your refillable bottles and reusable bags to pick up goodies at the event. Please dispose of rubbish in the recycling stations provided. Read more about Sustainability.


Getting to the event

FREE buses from Bangor, Newtownards, Dundonald and Downpatrick 

Bangor - Ards - Comber

Bangor Bus Station:
11.30 | 13.00 | 15.00
Ards Bus Station:
11.45 | 13.15 | 15.15
Comber Killinchy Street:
12.00 | 13.30 | 15.30

Comber Killinchy Street:
14.00 | 16.00 | 18.00
Ards Bus Station:
14.15 | 16.15 | 18.15
Bangor Bus Station:
14.30 | 16.30 | 18.30

Dunlady Park & Ride, Dundonald -  Comber

Dunlady Park & Ride, Dundonald:
12.30 | 13.30 | 14.30 | 16.30
Comber Killinchy Street:
13.00 | 14.00 | 15.00 | 17.00

Comber Killinchy Street:
14.00 | 15.00 | 17.00 | 18.00
Dunlady Park & Ride, Dundonald:
14.30 | 15.30 | 17.30 | 18.30

Downpatrick - Comber

Downpatrick Bus Station:
11:30 | 13:00 | 15:00
Killyleagh Main Street
11:45 | 13:15 | 15:15
Comber Killinchy Street:
12:00 | 13:30 | 15:30

Comber - Downpatrick

Comber Killinchy Street:
14:00 | 16:00 | 18:00
Killyleagh Main Street
14:15| 16:15 | 18:15
Downpatrick Bus Station:
14:30| 16:30 | 18:30


Public Transport | There is a bus station in the town. For information on timetables, visit


Event site | Useful information

Recycling | When disposing of rubbish please use the recycling stations when on-site. Please note, the usual waste bins on-site will not be in use during the event. Please help us continue our sustainability commitment to zero contamination at events by using the correct bin. There will be team members from Recycling on hand to provide advice and help you put your rubbish in the correct bin.

Accessibility | All flat surfaces on hard concrete. Accessoloo will be in attendance.

Dogs | Are permitted, to remain on lead at all times. Water bowls will be provided.

Stay sun safe |  we’re hoping for sunny weather, so please protect yourself with sun cream, hats and hydrate when at the event. Bring your refillable water bottles and use the water supply available at the event.

Lost children | with crowds anticipated please pick up a wristband for children at the Visitor Information caravan, situated beside the Stretch Tent.

Post Event Feedback

If you attended this event, we would love to know what you thought, please take a few minutes to complete this short survey.


​​​Further detail to follow - Keep checking back to the website, follow our facebook page or sign up to our ezine for updates.

[Please note, photography and videography may take place at some/all of these events. All events are subject to change]

For more information on safe alcohol consumption, visit the Drink Aware website.


This event has received funding from DAERA’s Northern Ireland Regional Food Programme.

Guide Prices

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Free to attend

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Map & Directions

Road Directions

​​​​​​By car - Follow directional road signs to Comber town centre. A guide to the local car parks.




Public Transport Directions

Public Transport  - nearest bus station is Comber, located in the town centre. For information on timetables, visit


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