by Abygail Fossett
It’s that time of year when the evenings stay lighter for longer, the birds are singing and, if you stay very quiet, you might even hear the Easter bunny hopping away. And as if you needed to be reminded … it’s almost time for the Suffolk Show!
This year, the show will be running for two days in the middle of May half term, Wednesday 29th and Thursday 30th. As always, it offers a fantastic day out for all the family at one of the UK’s oldest county shows, and a chance to enjoy the very best food and drink that Suffolk has to offer. As Bee Kemball, the show’s director rightly says: “The excitement is already building as we prepare to welcome visitors for action-packed days out with fun and free have-a-go activities for all ages to enjoy. The Suffolk Show is a fantastic opportunity to celebrate our county, and for local people to recognise the importance of the food, farming and the environment in Suffolk.” It might still be a few weeks away, but now is a great time to buy your tickets, as the early bird prices are available from now until midnight on May 17th. Currently, adult tickets cost £23, young people aged 15-17 cost £7 and tickets for those over 60 cost £20. Children, as always, have entry for free. Don’t miss out on a discount!
This year’s show will feature the return of many of the classic favourites, such as the kids’ favourite pond-dipping (pictured above) along with a few new introductions. Well-worth a visit is Adnams Beach Eats bar, who will be creating their own beach. Here, you will have the chance to take some time out to relax, destress and enjoy a cool ale or a glass of wine with your toes in the sand, with the added bonus of nobody trying to persuade you to take a dip in the sea.
Also not to be missed is the Cookery Theatre, which will this year be hosted by food writer and caterer Emma Crowhurst and head-chef Robert Mace. There will be demonstrations all day on both Wednesday and Thursday, giving you some ideas liven up your repertoire using fresh, local produce. With demonstrations given by chefs from the area, as well as the ‘omelette challenge’ featuring the presenters of Radio Suffolk, the Cookery Theatre will hopefully be useful, but certainly entertaining!
Animals will of course be taking centre stage, as they so often do, with local breed of horse the Suffolk Punch being dubbed this year’s star of the show. This year will see the introduction of the heavy horse village, the largest area solely dedicated to heavy breeds of horse in the show’s history.
This magnificent breed of horse is critically endangered and is now, astonishingly, rarer than the giant panda. The village offers horse-lovers the chance to see these beautiful creatures up close and learn about the vital role they once played in this country, prior to the industrial revolution. Exhibitors will also be on-hand to talk about the process of braiding and preparing the horses for their grand entrance into the show ring, and to give more information about what can be done to support the Suffolk Punch, and help save them from the brink of extinction.
One of the newer initiatives coming to the show is the launch of the Suffolk Show App. The app was released in time for the 2018 show. Free to download, it contains ring timetables, information on individual trade stands, public transport timetables and a handy map of the showgrounds, which will surely come in useful when it comes to co-ordinating with lost family members. If you happen to have a teenager who walks around with their eyes glued to their smartphone, then this could be the job for them! The app also includes a treasure trail, directing users to different locations where you can watch a story, a reflection from a local person associated with the show. There will even be the opportunity to take part in a quiz competition and enter a prize draw. The Suffolk Show may be over 175 years old, but it is firmly to grips with the 21st century!
So, you whether it is the food the interested you, the animals or simply the chance to download a shiny, new app, the Suffolk Show has something for everyone to enjoy. Get your tickets now while the going’s cheap!
· Visit https://suffolkshow.ticketsrv.co.uk/tickets/ to purchase tickets. Early bird prices available until May 17th.