Known nationwide as Ireland’s farming festival celebrating Irelands rich agricultural heritage, the National Ploughing Championships originated in 1931 as a ploughing match to settle an argument between two farming friends on which county had the best ploughmen. Today it has grown from such humble beginnings to become one of Europes largest (if not the largest) outdoor exhibition and agricultural trade show, annually attracting up to 1,100 exhibitors and over 190,000 visitors.
Run over 3 days, 25-27th of September in over 700 acres of land, the National Ploughing Championships is notable for its changing venues. This year the venue of choice is Heathpark in New Ross in county Wexford. Showcasing the best in Irish farming, food and culture, it is more than a ploughing competition, being a festival of choice for the rural and farming community as well as those less agriculturally minded.
Amongst the areas to note on a visit to the show are a tented trade village, craft village, a food fair, and tradeshows and exhibits dedicated to livestock, forestry, education, lifestyle, financial services, bio-energy and agri-service. Along with this, throughout the 3 days there are a wide range of special events and shows for all the family, with everything from sheep dog trials to fashion shows. Amongst the many to note include vintage farm machinery exhibits, All Ireland lamb shearing competitions, pony fairs, celebrity guests, the most appropriately dressed lady & gent competitions, craft demonstrations, live music and entertainment and celebrity cookery demonstrations to name just a few.
Like agricultural shows such as Tullamore Show, the National Ploughing Championships are much more than just a showcase of the best in rural Ireland and its rich agricultural heritage and traditions. They are action packed festivals with events and exhibits to keep people of ages entertained. Run early in the autumn months the National Ploughing Championships is a great social event sure to jazz up Ireland vacations for everyone, whatever your interest or background.