A real rural Ireland event
Every September, Ireland plays host to nearly 190,000 visitors at the National Ploughing Championships. Billed as one of the biggest outdoor exhibitions and cultural trade shows in Europe, the event features a tented trade village, a host of agricultural expositions and plenty of Irish food and cultural attractions.
The contest dates to 1931, when two friends found themselves in a dispute over which person’s county had the best ploughmen. A tradition was born, and the earliest contests were held on a 16-acre plot. Today, more than 700 acres – including all the land needed for ploughing, exposition space and parking.
The actual contest involves more than 330 competitors and stretches out over three days. Winners of this event go on to compete in European and international ploughing championships. The adjoining trade show focuses on farm machinery and other agricultural products, though this is only one facet of the grand-scale event.
In all, more than 1,100 exhibitors join the event, and the atmosphere they cultivate has a broad and international appeal. Other contests are also on the agenda, including a lamb sheering contest and sheep dog trials. Visitors also enjoy they food fair, craft village and celebrity cookery demonstrations. There’s also a fashion show, and in a separate competition, the most appropriately dressed lady and gent are awarded. A complete list of events and side shows is on Ploughing Championships’ official website.