THE 20th anniversary of the Tullamore Show is a fitting testament to the show’s enduring popularity and success, which have earned it the title of the biggest agricultural show in the country, and a milestone in the rural and social calendar.
The figures alone speak for themselves, with an attendance at this Sunday’s show expected at more than 55,000 people.
Up to 1,000 exhibitors, meanwhile, will display their businesses and products at the Butterfield Estate at Blueball.
An impressive and eclectic programme of events awaits the national and international attendance who will sample the best of what Ireland has to offer, along a broad spectrum of cultural, commercial and competitive interests and exhibitions.
These range from a flower show, dog show, horse and pony jumping and showing, vintage show, livestock, home industries, inventions, fashion, performing arts, and the best horticultural show in Ireland.
At the livestock end of things, the AIB National Livestock Show will include 45 titles, and is considered a flagship event, at which the highest standards pertain.
With a renewed appreciation of the value of agriculture in the economy it is apt that this national showcase exists, to show the full breadth of what the rural economy can and does produce.
Above all, the Tullamore Show has built a reputation as a family affair, with a very broad appeal. It hosts a number of attractions which the whole family can enjoy, with a strong emphasis on children’s entertainment.
The Tulllamore Show has been one the great success stories of the past 20 years.
Since its revival in 1991, it has established itself as Ireland’s premier and largest show, unequalled in terms of its size and excellence.
Over the years its antecedents as an agricultural show have been broadened out to reflect the wider community, and evolving social and cultural changes.
It has successfully merged the traditional with the new, with a continuing focus on our heritage, tradition and way of life.
The logistics of the show are immense, and all the more so considering that the planning, organsiation and execution of it is undertaken by the local community and a group of volunteers.
This is quite a feat, and one which does not always get the recognition it deserves, but which should be highlighted as an example of what can be achieved by people pulling together.
It is an example of Ireland at its very best, and the power and value of local communities and volunteerism.
In a time of economic and social hardship, its model and organisation is one that can be replicated as a model across a number of other endeavours.