For that special family day out visit the Clonmel Show on Sunday next, 3rd of July, at Clonmel Racecourse. Forget the recession blues and enjoy the craic for the day - meet the neighbours, see the horses and livestock, smell the flowers, buy local produce from the Farmers’ Market stalls and enjoy the Donkey Derby. A packed programme of events, some old and some new, has been planned. The Show will build on previous years’ successful formulae, with some changes in format and layout, some interesting new features, together with many of the old favourites. This will be a very special family day out where town meets country in the lovely Powerstown Park.
The Minister for Agriculture, Marine and Food, Mr Simon Coveney TD, will visit the show in the afternoon. This is the first visit by a Agriculture Minister for many years and the show committee extends a cead mile failte to him.
Gate prizes worth €600-plus will be given to the lucky winners who complete a small questionnaire and place it in the drum for the draw. They will receive this questionnaire and a useful map of the show layout when they purchase their admission tickets
Water Zorbing will be at the show this year for the first time. This should be a huge attraction for the children, while being a source of entertainment for those looking on at the kids in their ‘bubbles’ floating on water.
The Munster inter club Tug-o-War championships will be staged, featuring finals in the lightweight, middleweights, over 640 kilos and ladies teams events.
An All-Ireland semi final of the Macra na Feirme Farm Tasks competition, featuring seven teams who have already qualified for this stage of the competition, will also be held. The tasks will involve tractor driving skills against the clock, fence building and tests of other skills and knowledge by teams of three competitors. This section is being co-ordinated by local Macra activist Michael Moclair.
Traditional skills will be displayed with live demonstrations of dry stone wall building, hot coal horse shoeing and basket weaving.
Poultry classes made their return last year, after an absence of 30 years, but this year will also involve a poultry exchange where breeders can show and buy or sell their birds. Side by side with the domestic poultry will be a Falconry display of birds of prey.
In keeping with the increased interest in grow-your-own produce a lecture on allotment/ smallholdings will be given, followed by an in-depth question and answer session. This lecture will be given by Lily deSilva.
Aeronautics will be a new feature this year, as there will be an aeronautical display in the mid afternoon followed by a visit from the Coastal Rescue helicopter from Waterford.
Classes for coloured horses, cobs and rare breeds of cattle and sheep will be held this year, as well as a class for local exhibitors, living within 20 miles of the show to show a Friesian calf.
This year sees the return of Grand Prix show-jumping, when a Munster Grand Prix worth €2,000 will be jumped off in the afternoon.
The sheep section will host All Ireland championships for the Zwartbles and Lleynn breeds, which is a huge honour for the show.
Richie Kavanagh, the well known ballad singer, will make a welcome return to perform during the afternoon. Richie is best known for his rendition of “aon focail, da focail eile” but has an extensive repertoire of sing along ballads.
There will be competitions for the most appropriately dressed lady, gentleman and grandmother attired in clothes that best reflect the occasion and the weather. The final six will be chosen by a panel of judges and the winners of each competition will receive a cheque for €250. All six finalists in each section will receive vouchers. Some of the winners will be chosen by public ballot.
A Bonny Baby contest for under one year will also be staged and judged during the afternoon.
This year the Donkey Derby has a novel way of selecting some of its riders from a panel of volunteers, who will have submitted their CVs for selection to the derby organiser John Fitzgerald (086-2375473) The Derby will feature some of Ireland’s top Point-to-Point riders. This derby is unique, with the asses starting from starting stalls.