Friday 21 October 2016

Top 10 things to do at the Ploughing Championships 2015

Published 22/09/2015 | 08:16

The 84th National Ploughing Championships are upon us and this year promises to be bigger and better than ever with more than 249,000 attendees and 1400 exhibitors. Here are the top 10 things not to be missed.

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Showcasing the Best of Irish Food, Farming and Culture, this year’s National Ploughing Championships will take place from 22 – 24 of September in Ratheniska, Co Laois. 

Food Fayre

The Food Fayre has been extended with an array of artisan food producers and celebrity chefs showcasing their wares.  “The National Brown Bread Baking Competition” is back again alongside a new initiative “The National Junior Baking” competition.

Better, bigger innovation

The Innovation Arena has doubled in size with a prize fund worth a whopping €65,000 made up of Advertising, Marketing and PR Advice, Enterprise Ireland Mentoring and an overall cash prize.  A number of colleges will also participate and there will be consultation booths with Enterprise Ireland and the Patents office staff on the ready to offer advise. There will also be additional categories for a junior award for under-18s and a student category.


The Science Foundation of Ireland will run a variety of interactive science shows and workshops for event goers of all age groups for example Science magic shows, microscope workshops etc.  These exciting shows and workshops are currently being developed by researchers in Science Foundation Ireland Funded Research Centres and will include walk in and bookable events.

Tented Trade

Returning to the show will be the popular Tented Trade Village with demand necessitating the biggest Arcade ever, where up to 120 exhibitors will showcase in the one massive arena plus hundreds more located in additional specialist Pavilions.


The Forestry Village will feature the Husqvarna Pole Climbing – the hurdle is open to everyone up for a challenge and there are great prizes.  There will be lots of forestry machinery demonstrations, advisory services, consultants, regulatory authorities and many of the services associated with the sector.

Farm fashion

The 2015 Championships sees the return of the incredibly popular fashion shows featuring fashion items for all ages, which given the demand will now also air on the large Farm TV screen.  There will also be fabulous prizes for the most appropriately dressed male and female competition winners.

World Forklift

The World Forklift Competition pits the country’s top forklift drivers against each other testing their handling and operation skills in what is one of festival’s perennial favourites. There will be a whole range of motors both domestic and working vehicles on display as well as a new unique driving challenge.  The motor industry will also be significantly represented with many large stands.


The Livestock Arena promises to be a huge attraction again this year with many very valuable prizewinning animals on show.  At the centre of this Arena the Lely Robotic Milking Demonstrations is set to attract thousands of visitors again from both the farming and non-farming communities. The arena will feature cattle, sheep, pigs and alpacas.

Kid’s biz

Other really exciting plans are underway with a Festi’Kids crèche, a Tractor Ted Arena, a new kids zone and “No More Tears” safety wristbands for locating small children.  This year there will also be improved picnic, seating and catering areas.


All of the firm favourites are set to return again this year such as Meggers and Welly Throwing, Stock Judging, Sheep Shearing, Hunt Chase & Pony Games, Live Music and Dancing, Vintage Ploughing & Threshing, Sheep Dog Trials, Loy Digging, Celebrity Appearances and much more.

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