As the well-known proverb says a spark can start a great fire. This applies to the Claregalway Agricultural Show which is celebrating its Silver Jubilee takes place this year on Sunday August 23rd in Duffy Equestrian Centre, Rockwood.
Twenty five years ago somebody “sparked” an idea to start an agricultural show in Claregalway. From that idea a small group of interested people got together and put the first show on the road. The idea of a show came about quite casually but developed quickly from an ambitious thought into a reality in just six weeks.
Chairman Val Noone, who has been on the committee for the 25 years, said “It is a source of pride to the committee, in the present economic climate, to be able to host this kind of event ourselves, thanks to the generosity of the local people with their time, voluntary work and financial support. Step by step one goes far and it has been those small steps that have made Claregalway Agricultural Show into the highly esteemed show it is today.”
The committee is a small group of people, each of whom has multiple tasks. On the day the loyal hardworking helpers arrive and without these people the show could not be run.
Twenty five years on the annual event has welcomed many committee members throughout the years—each person bringing their own unique experience and dedication—ensuring that every year the event was a huge success. Sadly some members have passed away to their eternal reward too over the years. May they rest in peace.
The Camera Obscura Dome will be back by popular demand. Last year adults and children were enthralled by the darkened dome. The Novelty Scarecrow Competition will be held again this year and there will be lots to interest and amuse the children. The side shows attract great interest every year especially the Bonny Baby Competition and this year to mark the Silver Jubilee there will be €100 up for grabs for the Best Dressed Lady! The Donkey Derby will round off the day.
This year as part of the Silver Jubilee celebration, Galway Bay FM will broadcast from the show grounds. This will bring great excitement to spectators and exhibitors alike.
When asked recently what keeps an agricultural show going for 25 years? Val replied “the answer is simple—people keep it going. Without people there would be no show. Those who run the show put in a great effort. Those who advertise in our catalogue and sponsor our classes are our backbone financially. Those who participate take the time and make the effort to bake a cake, paint a picture, get their cattle tested, set vegetables, knit a jumper, groom the dog, take photographs, plait the pony’s mane etc. Spectators and exhibitors come back year after year for the same reason that drew them to Claregalway for that first show. It has a charm of its own, a friendly and welcoming way that draws you in and captivates you”.