A special doggie bus will ferry pet pooches and their owners to this year’s expanded Cork Summer Show.

Bus Éireann has confirmed it will allow pet dogs on board its extended 208 service, which will operate to the Showgrounds site in Curraheen, on the western outskirts of Cork city, right across the weekend of June 16 and 17.

Show organisers, the Munster Agricultural Society (MAS), have also announced new attractions for this year’s event, including a horticulture zone and garden area, a fashion retail zone featuring top boutiques and live catwalk shows, and best-dressed competitions.

Floral art has been added to the show line-up, with several talks and flower-arranging demonstrations planned, with members of the Association of Ireland Floral Artists (AOIFA) adjudicating floral competitions across a number of themes and categories.

For those who didn’t make it to the Bloom Festival in Dublin, MAS said they have ambitions to make the Cork Summer Show the ‘Bloom of the South’, adding a horticulture area which will feature demonstrations on ‘grow it yourself’ techniques, talks on beekeeping and a special garden created by the Down Syndrome charity, Field of Dreams.

There will be an eclectic mix of competitions across the show, from best scarecrow to a qualifier round in the Odlums All-Ireland Home Baking Championship in the cake, loaf, and round categories. 

There will also be awards for best marmalade, jam, lemon curd and chutney, brown soda, rocky road and caramel slice, and for best needlework, crochet and knit.

The Evening Echo pet dog show will run both days, with the entry fee of €2 going to Pieta House.

The summer show will also feature the usual family fun, live music, vintage vehicles, craft-beer tents and the Taste Cork food market.

There will be free parking at the showgrounds, but organisers have urged people to use public transport.

Bus Éireann’s extended and doggie-friendly 208 route will run to the showgrounds on both days, and free shuttle buses will operate from the Black Ash park and ride and Ballincollig shopping centre.

MAS was established in 1806 to encourage and promote agricultural industry, education and artistic and scientific pursuits at a time when the country’s economy was almost entirely based on agriculture.

Cork Summer Show is one of the longest-running agricultural shows in the country. 

Full details of the show events are available on corksummershow.com.

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