Ireland’s largest one-day agricultural event, the Tullamore Show, is expected to attract more than 60,000 visitors to Co Offaly this weekend.
With Met Éireann predicting warm and dry weather with good sunny spells, organisers are hoping for record numbers as the show celebrates its 25th anniversary.
Minister of State for Food, Forestry and Horticulture Andrew Doyle will officially open the annual Tullamore Show and AIB National Livestock Show at the 250 acre Butterfield Estate on Sunday morning.
Revived in 1991, when it was held on a modest two acre site, the show now boasts a prize fund of €168,000, over 1,000 competitions and 700 trade exhibitors. The event has become a showcase for Ireland’s agricultural sector and draws visitors from across Ireland and overseas.
While livestock, produce and farm machinery remain centre stage, the show offers a vast array of attractions from cookery demonstrations by Neven Maguire to art, photography, fashion, live music, family entertainment, inventions, machinery and technology. A €1,000 cash prize is up for grabs for best dressed lady this year and men can also get in on the act in the traditional farmer competition.
Speaking at the Butterfield Estate yesterday, Show Secretary Freda Kinnarney said “the ground is good and everything is busy and we believe there is great weather down in the south that is on its way up, so we are looking forward to that.”
She revealed the ever evolving show now costs almost €1m to host. “It was €950,000 last year which is a frightening figure”. The costs would undoubtably be higher were it not for the 600 volunteers who help out on the day.
Show chairman Rodney Cox paid tribute to those volunteers. “The show simply wouldn’t be feasible without hundreds of volunteers each year, primarily from the farming community, who give up their time to make sure everything runs smoothly,” Mr Cox explained.
“Everyone, from the executive committee to the parking stewards, buys into what it means to the local area. There’s a lot of pride and love behind making it a success, but a lot of hard work, as well. It’s a tribute to the can-do attitude and cooperative spirit of the farming community that we’re still here and growing after 25 years. I believe we’ll be saying the same thing for our 50th anniversary,” Mr Cox said.
For more information on the Tullamore Show see www.tullamoreshow.com or download the Tullamore Show app.
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