All set for Limerick’s largest family and agriculture showcase at the Racecourse

Jess Casey

Reporter:

Jess Casey

Limerick Show chairman Leo Walsh at the launch of the festival

Limerick Show chairman Leo Walsh at the launch of the festival

THE 89th Limerick Show makes its welcome return on this Sunday August 26, with 15,000 visitors expected along with 1,000 competitors and 150 trade exhibitors.

The venue at Limerick Racecourse, Patrickswell will feature the best of agriculture, food, culture and music to be showcased on the day. There’s something on offer to suit everyone!

A new addition to this year’s show looks set to focus on the important bond between foodies and farmers as the Limerick Show Food Village makes its first appearance at the much loved annual event.

Visitors are invited to discover their “inner foodie” at what is sure to be a feast for the senses, by exploring the many delights that will be offer including gourmet sausages, grilled meats, artisan cheese, handmade chocolates and more.

There is a very important bond between foodies and farmers that should be nurtured, according to the chairman of the Limerick Show and Irish Farming Association deputy president Richard Kennedy.

“Limerick Show has always been about showcasing the very best of Limerick and the surrounding areas. This year we’re delighted to shine a spotlight on local food producers, many of whom use locally sourced ingredients from the farming community,” Mr Kennedy said.

Limerick Show is renowned for showcasing the best of Irish horse breeding and this year is no exception as one of the special features is a ‘Festival of Irish Breeding’ presented by the Traditional Irish Horse Association.

This incorporates the famous Limerick Lady and Matron Championships.

The TIHA Hunter Equitation class also makes a return this year, an event aiming at encouraging a higher standard of production of traditionally-bred horses age five and upwards.

Another firm favourite, the Limerick Leader Showjumping Cup, sponsored by this newspaper and Hanly Donnellan Auctioneers makes its return this year with €1,000 prize money up for grabs for horses who can jump 1.25 metres in the mini grand prix.

Pony showjumping, amateur showjumping and much more is also set to take place on the day, with the Donal Johnson memorial trophy also to be rewarded on the day.

In addition to the diverse agriculture programme, there are also lots of new family-friendly additions to the show, which are absolutely free.

The Kids Zone makes a welcome return with free entertainment including bouncy castles, face painting, juggling and an animal farm.

If the little ones get tired, they can hop of the kiddies train and catch a lift back to the showgrounds and with free entry to kids under 12, there’s no excuse to leave them at home!

All visitors to the Limerick Show should also head to the Owners and Trainers Bar which has been converted to the Craft Hall to see the very talented work of local young and adult crafters, artists, photographers and bakers.

The Craft Committee, which is led by Anne Gabbett, is working tirelessly to encourage children from as young as four to showcase their creativity in art, bakery, knitting and lego.

With different categories dedicated to Active Retirement groups and artists with special needs, all competitions have been generously sponsored by local businesses and individuals.

The magnificent craft of Limerick Lace making, which is also undergoing a revival in Limerick, is also to be celebrated on the day with three competitions for Limerick lace sponsored by the Archive Department of Limerick City and County Council.

The family Dog Show, a star attraction, also makes a return on the day. Visitors can shop to their heart's content at the indoor and outdoor retail village, browse vintage and classic cars and enjoy live music including performances by Music Generation and Sean O’Dowd who will play live with a jiving competition.

A lively parade led by the C.B.S Pipe Band is also due to take place on the day. You might even spot Ms Limerick or the Limerick Rose in the crowd, who are attending the show as distinguished guests.

The important role volunteers play in staging the annual event is very important to remember, according to Donie O'Connor, Limerick Show event manager.

“Volunteers play a very big part for us and they are vital to the show,” Mr O’Connor said.

With events getting under from 9:30 am on Sunday August 26, more information can be found at www.limerickshow.com