All you need to know about the 2018 National Ploughing Championships

Damian Moran

Reporter:

Up to 100,000 a day are expected to attend the National Ploughing Championships in Tullamore

Up to 100,000 a day are expected to attend the National Ploughing Championships in Tullamore

THE 2018 National Ploughing Championships start this Tuesday in Tullamore and up to and above 100,000 people a day are expected to attend the agricultural extravaganza.

The event, taking place in Screggan, runs over three days with more than 1,700 exhibitors and the Limerick Leader will have a crack team on site to bring you loads of stories from the much loved festival.

Before it starts, the Leader has all you need to know about getting there and what to do when you arrive.

If you are driving to the National Ploughing Championships, you will be taking one of the routes (SEE BELOW). The Gardai have also offered the following advice:

* You are advised to factor in at least double the normal journey time due to heavy volumes of traffic
* Read the traffic plan and know the route you are travelling
* Bring drinks and snacks especially if you are travelling with children
* If you have a vehicle pass make sure it is clearly displayed on the windscreen of your  vehicle as vehicles not displaying passes clearly may be directed into outer car parks
* Follow directional signage to venue – do not use GPS
* Note the colour of the over-head flying blimp and the number/colour /animal sign in your car park on entrance in order to find it easily on exit
* Event opens to the public at 9am and closes at 6pm

BROWN ROUTE is for traffic from from Limerick, Kerry and Southwest: CLICK HERE TO SEE THE FULL ROUTE

* Ticket information: Adults - €20; Senior Citizens - €15 (ID will be required at the gate); Secondary School Students - €15 (rate of €10 applies on pre-orders of 10+ when purchased through school only). Tickets are day specific. Children under 12 go free once accompanied by an adult. College Students - €20 each.

* Opening Times: Exhibition Arena Opens: 9am - 6pm. Ploughing Competitions: 10.30am - 2.30pm; Entertainment Programme: 10am - 6pm; Fashion Shows: 11.30am/1.30pm/3.30pm

* The National Ploughing Championships is a child friendly event. Children under 12 go free when accompanied by an adult. The event offers picnic areas, a playground, baby changing & feeding facilities, Funfair and bandstand entertainment to cater for our younger visitors.

* In addition to these facilities there are 1700 exhibitors, many of which offer their own entertainment on their stands for children of all ages so there is sure to be something for everyone in the family.

* FBD ‘Keeping You Safe’ wristbands also serve as a reassurance to anyone bringing children to the event. These wristbands are specifically for children and are handed-out at all entrances to the event allowing for a contact phone number to be written on the band in case the wearer wanders off.

* There are a large number of car parks located in close proximity to the Trade Arena to accommodate traffic coming from all parts of the country. You will be directed into the nearest available car park to the event on your arrival and car parking stewards will direct you to a space. Parking at the National Ploughing Championships is free! Every car park is colour coded in our Traffic Plan depending on the route you are travelling to make it easier to get back to your car when you are heading home. Every car park has a colour specific blimp which can be seen from the trade arena to direct you back to your car park, and colour coded signage on entrance/exit to the car parks.

* There will be an area for bicycle parking in a dedicated car park. Please follow direction signage for bicycle parking an arrival to event.

* You can avail of public transport to the event. Tullamore Train Station is 10 minutes from the event site. A Shuttle Bus service operated by Bus Eireann will be in operation from Tullamore Train Station. The times of this service will operate to suit train times with pick up times from Tullamore Train Station starting at 6.55am until 12noon. The Shuttle Bus service will start return runs from the site to Tullamore Train Station at 2pm up until 6.30pm. The drop off and pick up point is located near the main entrance along the N52 and very close to the three main entrances along the front of the site. You do not have to purchase a train ticket to avail of these services, you can use the Bus Eireann drop off / pick up service from Tullamore Train Station for a small fee – Return Ticket prices - €9 adult; €5 children (16 & under); €20 family ticket (2 adults & 3 children)
See wwww.irishrail.ie & www. Buseireann.ie for scheduled timetables and fees.

* Taxis dropping off patrons will be facilitated as close to the car parks as is possible once there is no interference with the flow of traffic. There is no designated Taxi pick up area in or around the event site.

* The National Ploughing Championships can attract up to and above 100,000 people per day so patrons are advised to take their time arriving and allow for some queuing time when attending the event. Gates open to the public at 9am but for patrons arriving early there will be tea/coffee units and toilet facilities available in the car parks.

* Disabled car parking is available in every car park for the event. Please note the official Government issued Disabled Parking Permit must be clearly displayed in front windscreen of vehicle on approach to site. All of the internal roadways throughout the Trade Arena are double tracked to allow for disabled access movement around the site.

* If you need to leave the event at some stage and intend on returning please ask the gate stewards to stamp your hand on departure. Without this stamp you may not regain access to the event free of charge.

* Guide dogs are welcome at the National Ploughing Championships, however the event attracts approximately 80,000 people per day and owing to the large number of crowds patrons are requested not to bring family pets.

* There are over 1,700 exhibitors at the event featuring exhibits in; Energy, Forestry, Livestock, Machinery, Construction, Agri Business, Auto Arena, House and Home, Food and Beverage, Health and Wellness, Lifestyle and Tourism, Information Technology, Business and Education.

* Among the attractions at the National Ploughing Championships are the Food Fayre, Celebrity Chefs, Cookery/Craft Demonstrations, Auto Arena, Fashion Shows, Machinery Exhibition, Tented Trade Village, Livestock Exhibition, Innovation Arena, National Brown Bread Baking, Sheep Shearing, Sheep Dog Trials, Live Tractor Build, Ploughing Competitions, Live Radio & TV, Pony Games, Hunt Chase, Treshing, Vintage Display, Funfair, Loy Digging, Meggars Competition and much much more.

* There are three catering blocks on site accommodating in excess of 40 individual catering stands so there is something to suit all our visitor’s needs. There are also catering units in every car park to serve patrons arriving early to the event.

* There are toilet facilities located in each of the three catering blocks and additionally throughout the Trade Arena. There is a combination of portaloos, wheelchair accessible portaloos and flush toilets provided.

* There are seven different First Aid posts dispersed throughout the site and trained medical staff on mobile First Aid foot patrol and ambulance services on site at all times. There is also a purpose built Medical Centre on site, fully staffed with a doctor, nurses and paramedics should you require further assistance.