ORGANISERS of the Lurgan Show launched their 101st show in style at the Civic Centre recently.
Lurgan Show secretary, Mrs Michele Doran gave a warm welcome to all and thanked everyone who contributes, year on year, to ensure the show’s success.
She also welcomed the many sponsors who were in attendance and thanked them for their generous financial contributions which contribute greatly to the continuance of the show.
Last year saw the centenary celebrations which included an open air concert with Mr Peter Corry, concluding with a spectacular firework display.
Michelle explained to the audience: “It will be a challenge to ensure that 2013 is bigger and better than 2012 but that is certainly the intention of the hard working committee who are finalising all plans to ensure that the borough of Craigavon can enjoy yet another great family fun day in the park.
“Show day will be tinged with sadness as the esteemed and much loved chairperson of Lurgan Show, Mr Eddie Harkness will be absent. Eddie passed away peacefully, after a brief illness on March 28 but as it was his wish that the show would continue to grow, and the committee intend to dedicate a great show in 2013 to the memory of a true gentleman and a great friend.
“Held this year on Saturday, June 1, classes commence up on the hill at 8am in the many horse arenas which will host many major qualifiers for SHB, Ponies (UK), Equifest, Irish Shows Association and The North of England Show. Pennie Bunting, Horse Secretary has pulled out all the stops to ensure that a great display of classes will be running all day. There are also classes for Clydesdales, Miniature Horses, Donkeys and more. The Equestrian schedule is now available and all entries, with the exception of the Donkey classes, which must be with Pennie before Saturday, May 18.
“The cattle lawn will witness 96 classes. A new breed has been included this year: the British Blue. Again, many qualifiers are on offer including the H2 Engineering Charolais Championship, the McLarnons Feeds/NISA Dairy Cow Championship, the Linden Foods/NISA Pedigree Beef Heifer Championship, the Bank of Ireland/ NISA Junior Bull Championship and the ISA Osmonds British Blue Young Bull Championship.
“Last year The Woodcraft Kitchens Junior Heifer Derby for the Simmental section was introduced and we are delighted that this will take place again. Doesan Farm Hygiene have ensured the Jerseys and the Ayrshires have excellent prize money for the championships and Woodside Farm yet again kindly sponsoring the £200 prize fund for the young handlers. The Holstein section have a championship sponsored by McLarnon Feeds while the Limousin Club NI have ensured their exhibitors are handsomely rewarded.
“As in previous years, all prize money is paid in the arena and the £600 prize fund for the overall championship has been kindly sponsored by Genus, First Trust Bank and The Bank of Ireland. Danske Bank sponsored the overall Championship which offers £150 in prize money.”
Alongside the Cattle Lawn there will be the ever expanding sheep section. Some 94 classes are on offer with qualifiers for the Danske Bank/NISA Sheep Championship, The ISA and Clogher Valley NI Continental Sheep Final and the McCaughan/Zermex NI Shearling Ewe Championship.
Mr Winston Humphries will be the announcer in the sheep rings.
The goat section will be offering 12 classes and Mr John Harrison and his announcer, Mr Vaughan Byrne (of Jimmy’s Farm fame!) will ensure that alongside the serious side of showing, humour will play a vital part in the day.
Judging in the cattle, sheep and goat sections will commence at 10am.
Look for the large blue and white marquee and there you will find Mr Trevor Gardiner and Ms Aileen Smyth, watching over many poultry exhibits in the marquee. Ninety-seven classes on offer will ensure a wide variety of birds on show and the judging will take place during the morning when the marquee will be closed to the public. However, walk on towards the fountain and the vintage car section can be found. Manned by John and Ann Harrison, there will be many vehicles on display to capture the imagination!
The Home Industries section will showcase a vast array of incredible talent within the borough. Floral Art, plate painting, miniature gardens, baking, sewing, ‘junk’ instruments are only a very small sample of what is on offer up in Kings Park Primary School so be sure to cut through the wall from the main park (clearly signed) to view the fantastic exhibits which fill the corridors and two halls of the school. Again, thanks are extended to the SELB and Mr Shields for kindly permitting use of the school.
Back in the park and exhibits include the spectacular Evo Bike Team who will perform throughout the day in front of the cricket pavilion, alongside the PSNI and NI Fire Service display. There is an Ulster Scots marquee with live music, barn thrashing, butter making, basket weavers, birds of prey and many other items to ensure you are entertained.
The ever popular pet show commences at 2pm in the green arena beside the secretary’s caravan and again Mr Tom Glenny, local historian will ensure everyone is entertained. Any pet is welcome from dogs to cats, goldfish to budgies! Just don’t let the cat near the goldfish!
Hot foods and ice-cream will be plentiful or bring a picnic. But whatever you do, don’t miss the Lurgan Show on June 1. The event is sure to be a great family day out. A family pass costs £15 for two adults and up to four children.
The committee are indebted to Craigavon Borough Council for the kind use of the park and for their generous financial support.