50,000 expected at Tullamore Show
MORE than 50,000 people, including Taoiseach Brian Cowen, are expected to flock to Tullamore tomorrow to attend the biggest one-day agricultural show of the year.
Organisers say the Tullamore Show, which features the AIB National Livestock Show, has grown to encompass Ireland's changing culture, while still promoting older traditions and heritage.
Over 45 national titles will be awarded to the country's premier livestock breeds such as Limousin and Hereford cattle.
There are more than 1,000 different show classes ranging from gardening, poultry and cooking to arts, crafts and invention awards.
Visitors will also be able to inspect alpacas, miniature ponies, vintage farming equipment or watch the Young Shepherd of the Year competition.
Best dressed ladies will battle it out to win a €500 shopping voucher, while Glamorous Grannies, Bonny Babies and Traditional Farmers will also compete for top honours.
The show is on a 250-acre site at Bluebell Estate just outside Tullamore town and doors open from 9am.
There is free car parking for 20,000 cars at four car parks adjacent to the site, and the gardai have introduced a traffic management plan but warn there will be delays throughout the day.
Traffic coming from different directions will be diverted to the appropriate car park.
Agriculture Minister Brendan Smyth will officially open the event, which had to be called off due to flash flooding in 2007 and 2008 but bounced back at its new drier location last year.
Admission is €15 for adults and €10 for senior citizens and students. Children under 14 get free entry.