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30 Jun 2022

Longford Agri Show & Country Fair set to return

Longford Agri Show & Country Fair set to return

Cllr Paul Ross, Garry Maybury, Tom Whyte, Ellen Dolan, Teresa Fitzpatrick, Oliver Flanagan and Michelle Shaughnessy PICTURE: SHELLEY CORCORAN

A day and afternoon like no other. The simple, yet decisive sentiments from Longford Show secretary Bernie Whyte ahead of the long awaited return of the county's agricultural show and country fair next Sunday (July 3).

Its reappearance onto the local societal calendar after a two year Coronavirus enforced hiatus is arguably one of the most eagerly awaited locally staged events in recent memory.

And what’s more, organisers have pulled out all the stops to ensure patrons of all ages and interests are more than catered for.

Its venue is once again the tried and trusted grounds of Lisnamuck, Longford, just off the main N4 between the county town’s Leo Casey and Padraic Colum roundabouts.

“We have a huge family day lined up and one that you won’t see anywhere else,” said a bullish sounding Ms Whyte.

“There are a large array of classes for exhibitors with entries in all classes and huge prizemoney on offer.”

It’s a lure which would entice even the most discerning of show enthusiasts, but for Bernie and her fellow committee members who have the best part of two and a half decades each of local volunteering service behind them, next week’s showcase is about much more than money.

Among the many reasons for that assuredness is the arrival of Kilkenny based National Reptile Zoo to You with two zookeepers being on site from 9am and with a whole host of reptiles and public showings on the day.

Midland Falconry will also be in situ with their comprehensive array of falcons and owls with a close up experience and questions and answers sessions pencilled in throughout the day.

Well known Co Longford breeder Michelle Shaunghnessy is another leading attraction, courtesy of her famous highland cattle Henry and Hamish.

Newtowncashel based equestrian outfit Tomahawk Rebel are another fascinating addition to this year’s events list with its owner Theresa Fitzgerald demonstrating the reality of American horseriding.

And that’s before the mention of a spacious indoor trade stand tent is considered or the presence of renowned culinary expert Fiona Egan from Cloughan Farm and Cookery School.

Sponsored by Fresh Today and Bank of Ireland, the latter will be on site from early doors and is lined up to undertake three of her unique cookery demonstrations over the course of the day.

In keeping with the event’s ability to attract patrons from every agegroup, the day’s entertainment is not to be sneezed at either.

Leading country singer Stuart Moyles will be on the gig rig from 12pm while professional dance teacher Gerard Butler is scheduled to provide unique insights into the world of jiving alongside adjudicating which pair will make it through to the National Jiving Championships later this year.

The winner’s of that particular contest will also walk away with a stunning hamper which, this year, is sponsored by Lanesboro’s Lough Ree Distillery.

In the midst of all that, Marissa Hebron has been pencilled in to ensure the show day’s more younger populous are catered for with a whole host of colouring competitions and other children’s activities in store.

Not bad for an afternoon at just €10 per adult with teenagers, children and parking all being provided free of charge.

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