THIS year Lurgan Show is 100 years old - with the first Lurgan Show being held in September 1912.
The society was initially formed in May 1912 under the title of Lurgan Agricultural and Recreational Society and members began discussing a show for the townspeople.
The first show was a great credit to the formative society members with a fantastic display of agricultural, equestrian and Home Industries exhibits . Many of Lurgan’s Businesses were great supporters of the event by providing prizes and silverware.
Spectators See Airplane
A major attraction at the 1912 show was a flight by M Salmet which took off from an area adjacent to the current position of the fountain and was followed by two laps of the park lake. Considering that the first flight in Ireland took place in 1908 this meant within three years, a flight occurred in Lurgan with almost all spectators seeing an airplane for the first time. An eyewitness described the attraction as ‘an interesting spectacle’.
The band of the 5th Royal Irish Lancers travelled from Dublin to play at the show.
According to records there was also an excellent display of shorthorn cattle.
The Society also discussed a conclusion fireworks display but it is not known if this event ever took place although records indicate that some 10,000 people attended the showgrounds in the evening.
World War 1
There was an annual show for a few years until the outbreak of World War I. This inevitably changed the direction of the show as public events were curtailed for the next few years. Instead there were regular lectures on gardening and good farming practices.
However, the Society were developing the Showgrounds and record is also known of the Society having erected accomodation and a possible pavilion within the public park or Showgrounds, a title regularly referred to in 1912.
Except for the World Wars when Lurgan Park was in use for various other activities, the show society has continuously held an annual event.
The Society has continued for 100 years and has gone from strength to strength reaching across the UK and Ireland with both exhibitors and judges travelling many miles to attend and support the event.
Now Lurgan Show offers a vast complex of activities and events to suit everyone and remains one of the most significant one day events in the area organised entirely by volunteers and supported by CBC.