Today (July 2nd), tomorrow (July 3rd) and Sunday (July 4th) the biggest agricultural show in the county is returning to Westpoint, Exeter, after a break because of the global pandemic.
The Devon County show is held year after year and has only been cancelled in exceptional circumstances such as world wars and of course, in 2020, the Covid Pandemic.
Due to the coronavirus, there are going to be a couple of changes to ensure everyone stays safe. Covid Marshalls will be managing the crowds, most of the show will be outdoors, including the food, drink, and craft areas.
Food outlets will be spread across the showground to prevent too many people collecting in the same place. The same is true of the attractions, which are usually concentrated in the Main Arena, but will this year be scattered through the 83-acre showground.
Have no fear though, as the show organisers have promised a show that all visitors will “know and love” and the dates have been chosen to ensure “perfect weather” so keep fingers and toes crossed please!
As usual, the livestock side of the show will be booming, with competitions including 1,100 sheep, 100 goats, 80 pigs and 200 cattle, and more! So you’ll be able to find the best examples of beasts in Devon, right there, battling it out for the Best in Show.
The second big attraction for the Devon County Show is the shopping and this year is no different. And you’ll be able to see and talk to the stallholders too, in real life! There’s going to be a chance to pick up some beautiful handcrafted jewelry, clothing or handbag, but also the opportunity to really splash out - that hot tub you’ve been eyeing for years? That will be there! Maybe you can treat yourself to a new tractor or trailer while you’re at it.
A highlight for this year will be The Great Devon Parade in the Main Ring on Sunday, 4 July. That Sunday is national Thank You Day, which aims to highlight those people who really made a difference throughout the pandemic in Devon.
The organisers are working with Devon Communities Foundation to identify worthy groups and individuals across the county. There will be a number of dignitaries in attendance at the Parade, including Devon County Show’s President, David Fursdon, Her Majesty’s Lord Lieutenant of Devon, who will lead an official salute.
It will be a moment to join together to give a well-deserved thank you to all of those who kept us going through the long and dark months of 2020 and beyond.
You can’t go to the Devon County Show without eating and drinking a little too much, there is too much to try!
There will be a range to suit everyone’s tastes at the show ground—tantalising West Country treats from, delicious home-made pies from Passion for Pies, sticky teatime treats from Flapjackery and hand-crafted vegan gelato made in the English Riviera by Wild Gelato. Or why not push the boat out and take a seat at Darts Farm where you can indulge in home-reared Ruby Red Steak Sandwiches or a West Country Cream Tea (jam on top, of course)?
Drinks-wise you will have the same amount of choice in front of you. With the sun shining and the sound of people enjoying themselves all around you, you will have to have a taste of the deliciously thirst-quenching Devon County Show Guest Ale. Created by South Hams Brewery, this ale is a 4.5%abv IPA and as yet remains unnamed, but the organisers are hoping to find a name in the brains of one of the showgoers this weekend - it might be you!
Crafts and Gardens are usually held in the traditional canvas pavilion, but Covid means there will instead be a 163-metre courtyard of trade stands and colourful garden displays designed to “inspire visitors with ideas for planting plus Devon crafts, floral art and home baking competition entries”.
St Bridget Garden Centre will be back with one of their show-stopping displays incorporating a café where you can rest your weary legs after navigating this seemingly endless section for a cup of tea and some tasty home-made bakes.
Horses will be a big presence at the show this year as every year. With more than 1,200 horses and ponies expected to attend this year’s show, there will be something for every equestrian.
The Devon County Show is in its 125th year this year and there has been horse show classes every year since its inception in 1872. This year will be no different with over 160 classes with everything from Hunters to Hacks, Cobs to Connemaras and Shetlands to Show Hunter Ponies.
There will also be seven impressive Show Jumping classes culminating in the International Stairway Competition, which is sure to leave the heart in the mouth of anyone watching. There will also be scurry racing and private driving competitions to add to the excitement.
To add to all of this that will be on show next weekend, there will also be police dog handling displays, fly ball demos, the Quack Pack, a Premier Dog Show and you have all the ingredients in place for what will undoubtedly be the biggest and best day out in the South West.
At SouthHams.com we will be covering the show and you will be able to see all the winners, see photos, videos and more on our website and social media pages. You can follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
Tickets are only available online this year, so you can visit www.devoncountyshow.co.uk and click on the ‘Book Now’ tab. Advance tickets are advised as numbers may be limited for Covid reasons.
Adult tickets purchased in advance are £20 and kids cost £7.50 on Friday 2nd July. All under 5s go free across all three days. All under 16s go free on Saturday and Sunday but must still be able to show a valid ticket.
We're so looking forward to the Devon County Show next weekend, hopefully we'll see you there!