A perfect summer’s day welcomed thousands of people for the final leg of the Great Yorkshire Show in Harrogate.
Up to 45,000 visitors were expected through the gates today for the continuing animal breeds judging, the renowned food, fashion and country pursuits fairs, and the climax of the Cock o’ the North show jumping championships.
The stirring parade of hounds, an indelible symbol of Yorkshire’s and Britain’s rural heritage, will also take place in the main ring, shortly after lunchtime.
Visitors to the show’s first two days have basked under largely sunny skies, although a build-up of cloud brought a brief but torrential downpour yesterday afternoon. Within an hour, though, the sun had melted away any trace and the turf was holding up well.
This year’s show is an extra special one for organisers at the Yorkshire Agricultural Society who saw the doors of its new £11.5m exhibition hall open to show visitors for the first time yesterday. The hall represents the largest single investment ever by the Society and acts as a huge food and drink emporium at the show.
Many more will see the hall and the show’s vast array of attractions. At least 130,000 visitors are expected over the three days.
From the cream of the country’s livestock and talented equestrian displays, to demonstrations of rural crafts and a showcase of the county’s artisan food producers, the show is a proven crowd-pleaser and Nigel Pulling, the chief executive of the Yorkshire Agricultural Society, said he had heard enough on day one to suggest that the start of the show had been nothing other than a big success.
Mr Pulling said: “The first day has gone very well, but the site is so vast that it is always difficult to gauge everyone’s reaction.
“But the people I have spoken to have said that they have enjoyed it immensely. It appears to have been a very good first day, and while we don’t have visitor numbers as yet, the car parks and the gates have been very busy.”
Mr Pulling said the scale of the show and the dedication of those involved in making it happen never failed to impress him.
“A fortnight ago, I was walking around the showground watching the marquees being put up, and there is an army of people who are involved in staging the show, including the volunteers, those on the trade stands and the actual livestock exhibitors.
“There is such a variety of events and displays that there really is something for everyone. I would defy anyone who has an interest in farming, the countryside or how food is produced not to have a good time here.
“There is a breadth of entertainment, from the Army stand to the fashion show - how often can you sit and see a showcase of fashion to then go and watch dairy cattle being shown in the exhibition ring?”
Mr Pulling said he hoped the show would arm people with more knowledge about how the food and farming industry worked.
“A lot of people are still somewhat unsure about how food is actually produced, and this is a chance to give them the information about exactly how it comes to be on their dinner tables.”
The Great Yorkshire Show is open today from 7.30am to 6.30pm.
Traffic is always heavy, so it is vital you make travel arrangements well in advance.
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