Saturday 20th July, the annual Sligo County Agricultural Show will be held in Riverstown Community Park.
Every year this Show is held on the third Saturday of July. Next year will see the 20th Anniversary since the County Show was moved to the green fields of Riverstown, following closure of the County Show in Sligo Town. Prior to the move this Show had been held in the Showgrounds in Sligo Town since 1908. In fact it was this Show that gave the Showgrounds its name that is still in use today.
In 1994 Paddy Kenny, who lived in Riverstown, had the vision to ensure the survival of the County Show when he and the local Creamery Committee worked hard to keep the gates open so the wider community of County Sligo could continue to support this worthwhile annual event. Saluted
Still to this day the voluntary Committee of the County Show work hard all year round to ensure the event is a family friendly fun filled occasion. At the recent launch which was held in the Teach Ceoil on Friday 5th, July Imelda Ryan-Jones, who joined the Committee in 2012, said “Although it is pretty obvious that a lot of voluntary work must go into the Show each year I have certainly come to realise over the last twelve months just how many very busy bees there are in our community working towards creating our annual event”. Imelda also saluted the original members of the Committee present, who joined forces with Paddy Kenny, and who have been volunteers for year; Richard Cregg, Ivan Gardiner, Henry Graham, John Lyons and Frank Meehan.
Children have free entry to the Show and can also avail of free storytelling, free face painting, free Soft Shooting & Archery with thanks to Lough Bo Shooting Centre and free story books entitled ‘Stay Safe With Jessie on the Farm’, courtesy of the HSA, for the first 100 families who join in the Story Sessions which are scheduled to take place at 2pm and 3pm in the Community & Craft Tent.
Other exciting free events to take place on the day are Woodturning Demonstration by Matt Jones with free entry to his Raffle for a bowl in Spalted Beech. Matt was recently honoured to be chosen to take part in the National Craft Competition Exhibition to be held at the National Horse Show in the RDS in August. Aileen Devlin from Ballymote won a Matt Jones bowl following her day out at the Sligo County Agricultural Show in 2012, so everyone is in with a chance of a win on the day.
Hot Dogz will be clipping your pet’s nails for free as well as offering another free Raffle opportunity for visitors. Cheesemaking demonstrations, the Ballymote Farmers Market and the well renowned Men’s Shed group from Geevagh will all be in the Community & Craft Tent selling their wares.
The Road Safety Authority’s Rollover & Shuttle Bus will also be there on the day, so another free activity for the older boys & girls. The Rollover is a vehicle that turns 360 degrees when you are inside with your seat belt on, and you really feel the power of the seat belt and thus the experience helps ensure you wear a seat belt at all time in the future when travelling in a moving vehicle.
A new environmental awareness raising section has also been added to the Classes with free entry for a slogan or art piece in any media that promotes ‘Less Litter on Rural Roads’ and/or raises awareness of, the often unseen issue of ‘Rubbish in our Rivers’. Come along to the Community & Craft Tent to deliver your entry.Fleeced
John Cawley is delighted to announce that Tighes Toymaster of Ballymote have sponsored Free entry to all the Children’s Craft Classes, so a huge thank you to Aidan Tighe for all the prizes that will be awarded to the children. The Committee are genuinely striving to give the best value for money to families in particular, to ensure parents don’t feel fleeced by their children on the day.
Younger children can spend their pocket money on Bouncy Castles and for the older boys and girls there will be Bubbles of Fun, where you can walk on water without getting wet, available for the first time at this Show.
Michael Harte, Chairperson of Sligo County Agricultural Show is delighted that a number of new sponsors have come on board for the first time this year to ensure the Show is sustainable, enabling it to pay for itself without getting into debt, which is a tricky enough thing to do these days. The Committee have reached out further into the community to get more help with sponsorship for the wide range of Classes. Everyone has been exceptionally supportive, and it really does make the Committee feel privileged to live in such a positive community.
Gemma of Hot Head Hair Salon has sponsored Little Master Riverstown, Kool Kidz of Wine Street sponsored the Bonny Baby range of Classes, Lough Bo Boarding Kennels and Cattery have sponsored the Dog and Cat Section, and Jo herself will be judging a new Class included this year – Best local dog in the Parish of Riverstown. Seamus and Patricia Cawley have sponsored a Cattle Class, J Cawley & Sons have sponsored one of the Horse Classes and Matt Jones Woodturner has sponsored one of the Sheep classes.
“Thank you also to all our loyal Sponsors who continue to make this annual event happen and to the main sponsor of the day McGinty Tractors Ltd of Donegal” said Michael at the launch recently.
Along with the wide variety of glorious creatures to view on the day, from poultry to ponies, cattle to cats, sheep to sheepdogs, you can see the Macra na Feirme FBD All Ireland Semin Finals Farm Skills Competition starting at 10am, Markree Dog Agility Club Exhibition at 1pm, Bonny Babies, Little Miss Riverstown & Little Master Riverstown, as well as Glamorous Granny and Best Dressed Lady at 2.30pm.
There are lots of Home Baking Classes to enter on the day and a new Class, Best Baking by a Boy, has been included for the first time. We hope to have a crochet lady on the day too, who may inspire the younger generation to take up this Craft.
Taylors Art Gallery, Kathy Burke Photography and Lyotts Design will also have stands in the Community & Craft Tent. A national organisation will also be on hand to demonstrate how to operate the grant funded Senior Alert Monitor System, and will be of interest to anyone involved in Community Alert Groups throughout the County and beyond. There will also be free booklets on Invasive Species from An Taisce.
Further fun events scheduled to take place during the day for the first time this year are ladies and gentlemen who will be vying for the title of ‘Queen of the Turf’ and ‘King of the Turf’. There will also be a Bale Pushing Obstacle Course Race undertaken by four local sporting clubs. Sure there might even be room for some Welly Throwing and Potato and Spoon Races, so make sure you come along and join in the fun at Sligo County Agricultural Show in Riverstown Community Park, 10am to 6pm, on Saturday 20th July.