Suffolk Show line-up is unveiled

THE Suffolk Show is going from strength to strength organisers said yesterday as they unveiled details of this year's line-up.Last year's show was one of the best attended ever, attracting 93,500 visitors over the two days, and this year's event aims to build on that success, with a record number of trade stands and several new themed areas in addition to the established favourites.

THE Suffolk Show is going from strength to strength organisers said yesterday as they unveiled details of this year's line-up.

Last year's show was one of the best attended ever, attracting 93,500 visitors over the two days, and this year's event aims to build on that success, with a record number of trade stands and several new themed areas in addition to the established favourites.

Chris Bushby, executive director of the Suffolk Agricultural Association, which stages the event, said this year's show was doubly important, marking the 175th anniversary of the association and the official opening of the new £3.2million Trinity Park Conference and Event Centre.

The anniversary will be celebrated at the show with a photographic display, being staged in partnership with the East Anglian Daily Times and the Suffolk Archive Office, featuring scenes from Suffolk Shows over the years.

And the events centre, to be officially opened by HRH the Duke of Gloucester on the first day of the show, will house a new feature, the Suffolk Luxury Lifestyle Pavilion, showcasing some of the county's best interior designers, furniture and soft furnishing manufacturers.

Mr Bushby said the show had also achieved “a real coup” in attracting the BBC News and Sport Roadshow, offering visitors an opportunity to try their hand at reading the news or commentating on their favourite sport.

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The Suffolk Show was one of only two agricultural shows, and one of only six venues in total, that the BBC roadshow would be visiting this year, added Mr Bushby.

Entertainment in the main ring will including the UK FMX Freestyle Motocross Team, top-class show jumping and a Grand Parade of the champion livestock from the total of nearly 700 classes to be judged at the show, with cattle, sheep, pig and horse numbers all up on last year.

Musical entertainment will include a visiting tribe of Zula Warriors as well as the locally based Ipswich Over 50s Brass Band, the Ipswich Hospital Band and the Ipswich Caribbean Steel Band. The middle evening of the show will also include a concert by Queen tribute band Mercury.

The Food Hall at this year's Suffolk Show will feature more than 60 exhibitors alongside cookery demonstrations by students from Otley College's FeaST department, with Suffolk produce very much to the fore.

Local hoteliers and restaurateurs will also be giving cooking demonstrations in the Tourism Village area, to promote food tourism in the county, and much of the catering around the showground will also feature locally-produced ingredients.

Those seeking retail therapy will again be well provided for, with a total of more than 800 tradestands to visit. This includes an increased presence by agricultural machinery dealers, many of whom, like farming itself, have diversified and now also offer non-farming items such as toys, lawnmowers and other powered equipment.

The Rural Crafts area will feature more than 100 exhibitors and some traditional countryside crafts will also be on display within the showground's Wildlife Area.

This year's Farminanglia demonstration area will focus on alternative crop uses, with an emphasis on renewable energy. Other themed areas at the show will include an expanded Dog Show, the Interactive Sports Village, the Flower Show, the Special Occasions Avenue - including catwalk fashion shows - and an Art Show.

The Suffolk Show takes place on Wednesday, May 31, and Thursday, June 1 - during school half-term week - at Trinity Park, formerly known as the Suffolk Showground, on the edge of Ipswich.

Tickets are available at a pre-show discount until May 25, and then on the day. Prices are: adults £13.50 (or £15 on the day); children £5 (£6 at the gate); and senior citizens £11 (£12 at the gate). Car parking costs £4 (or £5 on the day).

A family ticket covering two adults, two children and car parking is available on a pre-show basis only for £35. For full details, call 01473 707117 or visit www.suffolkshow.co.uk .