Bellurgan set for Louth Agricultural Show

Bellurgan set for Louth Agricultural Show

Donard McCabe donard.mccabe@dundalkdemocrat.ie @DundalkDemocrat

All signposts will be pointing in the direction of Bellurgan Park on Sunday, June 11, for the 128th Co Louth
Agricultural Show.

This is the fifth year that the Show is being held at this absolutely superb venue — described as a ‘hidden treasure’ by those who have exhibited there. The members of the Co Louth Agricultural Show Committee have been working hard all year to ensure that no stone is unturned during the preparations for the the Show and are also looking forward to working again with Eddie and Evelyn Toner, owners of Bellurgan Park.

This year Co Louth Agricultural Show Committee is delighted to announce a new major sponsor in Alltech Ireland. The core business of Alltech Ireland is the provision of natural solutions, technical information and support to all sectors of the animal nutrition industry worldwide. As the main sponsor, Dundalk Show Society very warmly welcome them to the 2017 Show.

As always, there are numerous sponsors who have been part of the show for years and have continued to offer their support. Again, Dundalk Show Society Ltd welcomes them and thanks them for their dedication as it would not be possible to run the Show without sponsors.

Over the years, the Show has endeavoured to be a shop window for all that is produced locally and to reward farmers and exhibitors for their dedication to quality production. From 'Stable to Table' or 'Farm to Fork', the Dundalk Show Society Ltd believes in showing how the food we eat is produced and preserving local traditions handed down through generations. This again will be a major focus at the 2017 Show.

Winning a rosette at an Agricultural Show brings prestige and honour to those who emerge victorious and adds immense value to what is being shown. The emphasis is also on making the Show a Family Fun Day with something for everyone.

So what is in store for those who will visit the Show this year? There are many classes in which to exhibit produce. The Children’s Section includes recycling and upcycling, baking, crafts, art and handwriting. There is a Special Needs section which includes baking and art.

The Home Industries Section is normally awash with colour and breathtaking displays which include baking and preserves, crochet, knitting, crafts, woodwork, photography, art, flowers, containers and vegetables.

The classes for livestock are always popular and large crowds gather around the exhbitor rings.

In the Horse Section, there are classes for young horses, riding and novice Riding, show jumping, open Riding, miniature horses, fancy dress and riding schools.

The Cattle Section has classes for dairy and beef and also allows Breed Society Young Members and Young Handlers gain invaluable experience in showing livestock, thus ensuring there are show people for the future.

Alpacas have been a feature of the show for a number of years now and there are classes for male and female alpacas.

The Sheep Section covers several breed classes and is also proud to run classes for young handlers.

Dog lovers will not be found wanting as the Dog Section is always well supported and there are many classes here also.

There will be a large presence of members from the various ICA Guilds in Louth as there are competitions for them exclusively in Baking and Crafts.

The Co Louth Agricultural Show always holds qualifying events where exhitors go on to represent the Show at All Ireland Finals held at other shows nationwide. This year the Show will host Qualifiers for the following: The All Ireland Pedigree Suckler Type Heifer Championship (Claremorris), The All Ireland Traditional Handmade Craft Final (Ballyshannon), Fleetwood Paints All Ireland Amateur Painting Competition (Virginia), Gain All Ireland Dog Championship (Clonaslee) and Mc Mahon’s Supervalu Ltd All Ireland Baking Championship (Castleblayney).

Other attractions on the day include Bonny Baby competitions, 0-1 year, 1-2 years and 2-3 years.

Of course, where would a show be without Best Dressed competitions?

There will be ongoing entertainment with the Merry Macs providing music during the day. Mona Roddy’s Irish Dancers and Broadway Babies will also feature.

Trade Stands are always popular and there are over 100 trade stand exhibitors, from food to clothing, tools to crafts.

A new feature this year is a major focus on local artisan food and craft producers with a special marquee set up to promote these.

Celebrity Chef Frank Moynihan will be on hand to do some cookery demonstrations and he will be foraging among the artisan food producers for some inspiration for his cooking.

Having observed some feedback on previous shows, the Committee is happy to announce that there will be a free children’s soft play area.

There will also be a Zip Line and Student Innovation Tent. The LMFM Roadrunner will be on site as well as Dundalk FM.

Could an Irish record be broken? One man is determined to attempt it at this year’s Show. Local man Mark Mc Geown will attempt to break the Irish Sheep Shearing Record by shearing as many ewes as possible in an eight-hour period. This will happen on a specially constructed stage so plenty of sweat is guaranteed.

Since the turn of the Millennium, Dundalk Show Society Ltd and Newry Show Society have joined forces under a Cross Border Initiative. This has resulted in the Dundalk/Newry Intershows competition where 1st, 2nd and 3rd placings in five competitions at both

Shows will compete for the overall award in the finals at Newry Show on Saturday June 24. The classes this year are in Children’s Crafts and Joined Writing, Special Needs Art, Adults Crafts and Photography.

The Co Louth Agricultural Show always supports a local charity and this year it is the North East branch of Cystic Fibrosis. This charity will also be supported through the sheep shearing record attempt.

To run a Show of this size would not be possible without the support of numerous volunteers, from those who assist in parking cars, keeping traffic moving in and off the site and helping out with different classes.

Dundalk Show Society Ltd wish to thank all for their invaluable assistance.

Planning also includes involving An Garda Siochana, Louth Local Authorities, Order of Malta and having a Doctor and Veterinary Surgeon on site to cater for emergencies if they arise. These all provide invaluable assistance to the Show.

Hopefully the weather will be kind on the day thus ensuring a large attendance.

So come to Bellurgan Park nestling in the shade of the picturesque Cooley Mountains and have a great family fun day.

Gates open at 11am and the Show runs to 6pm. Adult entry is €10 and children are admitted free.