The 123rd Devon County Show was unveiled on Friday, April 20 amid talk about the impact of the late spring on Devon farmers and giant inflatable sea creatures.
In sunshine Show President and South Devon farmer Edward Darke said: “I think everyone in Devon farming will be looking forward to the County Show even more than usual this year, after the winter and spring that we’ve had.”
The Show will be held on May 17, 18 and 19 at the Westpoint showground, Exeter.
“What with the weather and all the Brexit uncertainty it will be a relief to be reminded of all the good things about farming in Devon - the quality of our livestock, the strength of our supply industry, the wonderful food and drink that we produce and the incredibly strong sense of community that there is among the family farms of Devon,” he added.
“That doesn’t mean that we’ll be forgetting the bigger picture, by any means. There’ll be plenty of talk about farming politics and the problems caused by the weather. But it will help to put all of that in its proper context, and allow us to have a thoroughly good time in the process.”
For Show Secretary Ollie Allen this will be her 22nd County Show and final year at the helm but she said that no two shows were ever the same: “My passion to be part of an event which appeals to every strand of the Devon community only gets stronger year on year. And this year I’m certain we’re going to pull it off yet again!
“Of course, there will be an abundance of wonderful local food from a county bursting with a huge variety of local produce thanks to Devon’s two coastlines, moorland, rich rolling pastures and sheltered south-facing estuaries.
“And this year we are introducing two major new attractions; the Watering Hole, where visitors will savour street food, drink from Exeter Brewery, live music and plenty of seats housed in a huge red and blue marquee, and the Ocean Discovery Zone which embraces the magic and threats to our seas.”
“It will be a Show of mixed emotions for me but the star is the Show itself, so if there are plenty of happy people, enjoying themselves, whether competing or visiting, then – ‘job done’ for the last time!.”
At the event, sponsored by and held at Southernhay House, Exeter, the conservationists behind the new Ocean Discovery Zone feature filled the garden with giant inflatable creatures. Co-organiser Andy Peters said: “The Ocean Discovery Zone features 15 different West Country participants, offering hands-on engaging activities for all ages, a lot of pioneering research, fun learning, and a chance to discover more about the amazing marine environment around the Devon coastline. Meet conservationists, researchers and educators, become a steward of your seashore, learn how we can change a few things in our lives and help the ocean recover, and lots more.”
The County Show launch is just a few days before British Beef Week (April 23-30) and the food served to guests included Red Ruby Devon beef. Deborah Clark, owner of Southernhay House in Exeter which sponsored the launch, said: “Every one of us at Southernhay House, from the hippest hipster to the Labrador lover, looks forward to the County Show each year with excitement.
“As a sponsor, it’s a pleasure working with the professional team who make this event happen. As Devon lovers, we all feel proud to be a part of it and can’t wait for the event itself. This year looks set to be broader and better than ever; we’re intrigued to see the new Ocean Discovery Zone and the Watering Hole music and food venue. They’re both welcome new cultural insights.”
Notable for this year:
Show attractions also include:
Especially for young visitors:
Farming, the countryside and food is at the heart of the Devon County Show, which is the great curtain-raiser for the livestock and horse showing season in the South West:
And finally, but very importantly, the County Show continues to offer good value for money:
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Hi, I am Colin Slade, I am the New Business Manager here at thebestof Exeter and I handle lots of the PR and News stories for our clients