THOUSANDS of people are expected to descend on the showgrounds outside Charleville this weekend for the annual Charleville Show.
According to show organisers, entries are “flying in” for the stands and various classes at the two-day show which was selected as Show of the Year 2013 in an annual review by the Irish Farmers’ Journal.
“We are nearly booked out at the moment. It is well up on other years. We have such a variety it is hard to say which one will draw the biggest crowds. Catherine Leyden, the home baking expert, will be a big attraction. She is there on the Sunday,” said Billy Biggane, PRO of Charleville Show which is now in its 35th year.
Taking place on Saturday and Sunday, Charleville Show is now the largest two-day agricultural show in the country with numerous exciting and interesting events to be seen including judging of cattle, horses, sheep, horticulture, dogs, arts and crafts, cookery and numerous children’s competitions.
“They are all drawing their own interest. There are a lot of trade stands,” said Billy.
“We get people from the 32 counties and they are coming from abroad as well. We have 100 students coming from all over America to help judge the cattle,” he added.
Two years ago the showgrounds was upgraded with new roadways to accommodate pedestrian and vehicular traffic. This made navigating the grounds much easier. With the uncertainty of the Irish weather, the show is now almost independent of weather conditions.
The number of sections in the show is increasing from year to year and the show now covers 70 acres with ample off road parking to accommodate all the visitors to the show.
Additional car parking has provided patrons with much more ease of access to and from the show, and this parking is adjacent to the show grounds.
The organisers are proud to have the leading dairy and beef herds in the country listed among the exhibitors, and also in the horse section they have top class riders taking part in the show jumping.
“The show would not be possible without the generous support of our sponsors, many of whom have been with us since the show was founded in 1979,” said Billy.
“Without the generous support of our sponsors, especially our major sponsors Kerry Agribusiness, it would not be possible for us to run our show at such high standards.”
Charleville Show contributes its success to the fact that it is community-based and that all the committee work on a voluntary basis.
Catherine Leyden will attend the show on Sunday and will do two demonstrations on the day - from 1.30pm to 2.30pm and from 3pm to 4pm.
There will be food samples and free cookery books given out on the day.
Dairy stock judges from all over the United States will be involved in judging the dairy classes in conjunction with the Charleville Show dairy judge.
The most appropriately dressed lady and most appropriately dressed family competition will be held on Sunday at 3pm with very generous prizes. This is an opportunity for families to dress up for the day and at the same time get recognised for their efforts.
Due the success of last year’s Gathering event, the organisers have decided to continue the theme this year with overseas visitors confirmed from Germany, Spain, France, and New Zealand along with the judges from the United States
Minister for Agriculture, Marine and Food, Simon Coveney TD, has once again confirmed that he will attend the show on Sunday and will be available to talk to anyone who has issues they would like to discuss with him. Junior Minister for Agriculture, Tom Hayes, will attend the show on Saturday.
The judging of the dairy section will take place on Saturday with a total of 22 different classes including three handlers’ classes.
The sheep classes will be judged on Sunday starting at 12 noon. Other attractions include adult baking, a secondary school baking competition, adult arts, crafts and needlework, a vintage section, timber sports and the horses and ponies section.