THE Armagh County Agricultural Show will be held in Gosford Forest Park this Saturday, June 9, gates open at 8:30am to the public. Entry £10 adult and those under 16 free.
Entry can be made through three gates, Main Gate on Armagh Newry Road – Disabled parking and public parking until the show grounds are full when traffic will be diverted to the Mullabrack Road and Tandragee Road. Park and ride available from the Mullabrack and Tandragee roads into the middle of the show grounds, tractors will be running from 10am.
Once you enter the Forest Park you are free to roam the entire grounds, watch the demonstrations, exhibitions, and enter-tainment in the wonderful amphitheatre which is Gosford Forest Park.
A significant part of the show experience is focused on the promotion of local produce and organisers have recently revamped, increased and relocated the Food Village in response to increasing customer expectations, so there is now even a wider range of locally produced products at this tempting foodie destination. Customers can savour the flavours at tastings and demonstrations before purchasing delicious treats to take home.
From the food village visitors can wander through the craft marquee and enjoy the best of home industries: knitting, sewing, baking, painting, photography and flower arranging and marvel at the displays entered from the schools section, both primary and secondary, in writing, drawing and making.
If you like shopping, you will love browsing the market clothing, independent stalls and retail stands selling everything from colourful scarves and designer jewellery to tractors, cars and walking sticks! This year organisers are working on a new and exciting shopping village experience to showcase many local Armagh Banbridge and Craigavon shops.
The show works closely with the Young Farmers clubs across the county – they are involved in a range of fun activities and opportunities to encourage Safe Practise in Farming. This year they are ‘Keeping It Country’ with a Jiving competition and they will also be encouraging farmers to bring along a fleece for the British Wool competition.
A new exciting addition to the show this year is the Fane Valley Arena. This will give our show an extra dimension to allow visitors and exhibitors an opportunity to showcase their animals.
The equestrian community will have an opportunity to show and jump their horses, ponies and donkeys with one of the largest show jumping events in Northern Ireland. This includes qualifiers for other shows, including Dublin Horse Show.
Organisers invest heavily in entertainment for visitors to enjoy, whether this be in country music bands, funfair, dance classes, lawnmower racing, geese herding, grassmen, and, of course, the Armagh Rhymers.
Another new attraction this year will be the shopping village marquee which will showcase 18 local shops and give them an opportunity to highlight their products and services.
Jenny Bristow will be returning once again to host cookery demonstrations throughout the day, making simple yet delicious recipes from local produce.
The Pinkerton’s Schools Cooking Competition will see six local schools competing to get their hands on the Pinkertons Cup. The six schools taking part will be The Royal School Armagh, City of Armagh High School, St Catherine’s College, Banbridge Academy, Newtownhamilton High School and Markethill High School. This is a competition not to be missed!
Local supermarket JD Hunter & Co will be providing butcher demonstrations throughout the day.
Armagh County Show is delighted to support two very worthy charities this year, namely the Air Ambulance NI and the British Heart Foundation.
Air Ambulance NI is planning to have the reserve helicopter on site again in Gosford Forest Park and visitors will have the opportunity to look inside the aircraft and chat with the crew during the day.
The Simmental Society, in memory of great friend Mrs Thelma Gorman, will be selling tickets to win a Simmental animal. This will be raffled in August and all the proceeds will go to the Air Ambulance in memory of Thelma. Tickets will also be on sale for a beautiful framed jigsaw puzzle donated by committee member Alec Menary. Proceeds to Air Ambulance NI.
Another really popular event is The Grass Boys who will be busy foraging and moving around grass in their miniature tractors, trailers, forage harvesters etc… experience the glee in the faces of these potential farmers and contractors as they work the land and entertain the crowd.
The Fane Valley Arena will host equestrian classes and culminate with a spectacular show of prize winning livestock.