With just under two weeks to go to the staging of Europe’s largest outdoor event, the site in Screggan, Tullamore is really taking shape for this year’s National Ploughing Championships.
This morning, LaoisToday and members of the national media were treated to an exciting preview of what to expect, as the event was officially launched on the Co. Offaly site.
At this morning’s launch, the media and special guests were entertained by local performers from Offaly while prize-winning animals, quality machines, horses and hounds were all on display.
Food, fashion and farming were the flare of the day as ploughing enthusiasts, local landowners, public representatives including the Minister for Agriculture Michael Creed got a flavour of all that “Ploughing” has to offer.
The Irish Ploughing team heroes were honoured as they returned victorious from last weekend’s World Ploughing Contest in Germany.
Carlow man Eamonn Tracey is the new World Ploughing Champion representing Ireland with an outstanding performance in the Conventional Class. While neighbouring county Wexford man, John Whelan also secured silver place victory in the Reversible Class.
Launching the event, NPA Managing Director Anna May McHugh said: “The Ploughing Championships not only provides a national stage to showcase all that is great about Ireland, but also internationally.
“As it is fantastic to see the phenomenal global interest in the event with countries such as Australia, France, USA, Denmark, UK, Netherlands, New Zealand, Hungary, Uganda, Czech Republic, Germany, Canada and Belgium attending.
“With 291,500 visitors attending last year and over 1,700 stands the Ploughing Championships is one of the market leading Agriculture Trade Fairs worldwide.”
There will be an array of new exhibitors as well as hundreds of outstanding veteran companies showcasing their products and services in dynamic ways.
The very latest models in agricultural machinery and cutting edge technology will be on display in the Innovation Arena, quality livestock, a Motor Show, a Forestry Village, Food Trail, an International Business Pavilion, Fashion and a Local Enterprise Village with every county in Ireland represented, National Baking Competitions, Craft Shows, Cookery Demonstrations and many topical seminars.
Etihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates, is the new sponsor of the popular Best Dressed ‘Country Style’ ladies competition on Wednesday 19th of September.
A judging panel will announce the winner with a prize worth €7,000 up for grabs. The exclusive prize includes two return flights from Dublin to Abu Dhabi, a two-night stay in the luxury 5-Star Emirates Palace, a two-night stay in the prominent 5-Star Anantara Eastern Mangroves & Spa Hotel and two complimentary passes for Yas Island.
Not only out to spoil the ladies, the men are also in for a designer treat. The Most Appropriately Dressed Gentleman will receive a prize of a stay in the exclusive Wineport Lodge nestled on the banks of Lough Ree, in Athlone County Westmeath, plus a bespoke custom-made suit sponsored by Master Tailor, Louis Copeland.
An extended Trade Arena will see the return of the popular Tented Retail Village with demand necessitating the return of the “Dome” the biggest Arcade ever, with over 100 exhibitors displaying in the one arena plus hundreds more located in specialist Pavilions.
The National Ploughing Championships will take place from September 18 to 20 in Screggan, Tullamore, Co Offaly.