Newcastle West Show returns after wet weather hiatus

Gerard Fitzgibbon

Reporter:

Gerard Fitzgibbon

Action from the donkey derby at the 2011 Newcastle West Show. The event returns this month after a one year hiatus.[Picture: Dave Gaynor]
IT MAY have fallen victim to incessant rain twice last summer, but the Newcastle West agricultural show is set to return bigger and better than ever this month.

IT MAY have fallen victim to incessant rain twice last summer, but the Newcastle West agricultural show is set to return bigger and better than ever this month.

The famous show, which dates back to 1923, will now take place over three days when it returns on July 19-21. This year the traditional exhibition of livestock, horses and stalls on the Sunday will be preceded by two days of food, family entertainment and a barn dance.

Peter Leonard, a member of the show organising committee, said that they are “optimistic” that the show’s expanded format will strike the right chord. “We had planned to run it as normal last year, but it had to be cancelled as a consequence of the bad weather. But we’re more optimistic that it will be much better this year”.

This year’s show will begin on Friday, July 19 with a ‘Nashville’ barn dance in Nash’s Lane, with proceeds from the night going towards the Friends of St Ita’s Hospital. Friday will also see a barbecue hosted by celebrity chef Rozanne Stevens, live music and a DJ.

On Saturday, Ms Stevens will host a barbecue masterclass at the Red Door Gallery, while on Sunday she will be doing live cookery demonstrations at a special ‘food village’ in the main Newcastle West show grounds at Ballynoe, Castlemahon.

Mr Leonard said that Sunday’s main agricultural show will offer “something for everyone”, from livestock showing to a bonny baby contest. “It’s going to be as large as ever, with the horse showing, cattle, goats, a donkey derby, a tug-of-war; the best-dressed lady and the bonny baby too. There’s something for everyone”.

Tickets for the barn dance are €25 and can be purchased at the Red Door Gallery this Saturday from 1pm to 6pm. Alternatively, contact 086 2517086 or 087 9002890. To book a place in the barbecue masterclass, please contact 087 0995741. To enter in the tug-of-war contest contact Jim on 086 8134061.