The Suffolk Show, which is in its 181st year, and which takes place this year on Thursday 7th and Friday 8th June in order to accommodate the Queen’s Jubilee celebrations, is Suffolk’s biggest event of the calendar.
At the official launch press conference, held at Trinity Park, guests were treated to an entertainment showcase courtesy of Suffolk Sport, Suffolk New College beauty students and Suffolk 1940s Swing Dancers.
Christopher Bushby from Suffolk Agricultural Association said: “The Suffolk Show in 2012 will once more be a true celebration of all that is great in Suffolk. Jubilee and Olympic year means the country is in celebratory mood and the Show will encompass that spirit.
“We have many new surprises in store for Show visitors, but old favourites will also be returning to make sure that this year is one of the biggest and best yet.
“Once again we’ve been overwhelmed at the generosity of our sponsors whose financial support has meant we’ve been able to welcome some new attractions to the show as well as make some improvements to how we do things.
“This year the ticketing system for the Show has undergone a significant change. A new e-ticketing system has been created so that guests can download their tickets and print them off at home. This is a much more efficient way of purchasing tickets and it also means that advance tickets can be bought right up until the day of the show at the discounted price. Hopefully this will encourage more Show visitors.”
“We are also indebted to our volunteer stewards – over 300 stewards are giving their time for free to work over two days for the Suffolk Show. It is the stewards, along with many others, who ensure the Show runs smoothly and it would not be a success without them.”
The Grand Ring is always a favourite and this year is no exception. There is a full schedule of great entertainment in the form of the stagecoach classes, the grand parade of champions, and top class international show jumping. The President’s Ring also has a full agenda with the return of the fast and furious Shetland Pony Grand National, sheep and heavy horse classes and the sheepdogs at work demonstration.
Major Mal Robb, of the Army Air Corps at Wattisham confirmed that the Grand Ring will host an awe-inspiring military display. ”The military display this year will include Apache and Lynx helicopters and the display we will be staging is unique to the Suffolk Show and will not be seen anywhere else in the UK” he said. The display is being organised by Wattisham Army Air Corps and the 23 Engineers Regiment from Rock Barracks, Woodbridge with support from the RAF regiment from Honington.
Christopher Bushby added that there will be an increase in street theatre this year, including the return of Titan the Robot who will be making another appearance at the Show due to his popularity last year. The bandstands will be hosting a wide range of Suffolk music including the Ipswich Caribbean Steel Band, the Ipswich Hospital Band, and an evening tribute band. The Jitterbugs, a 1940s Swing dancing display, will entertain visitors in the Garden area.
As 2012 is Olympic year, sport is high on the Show agenda and organisers have gone all out to secure some impressive attractions, including investing over £80,000 over the last three years into the development of the Sports Village.
Bill Tancred MBE revealed that the Show has once again been awarded the prestigious Olympics ‘Inspire Mark’, making the Suffolk Show unique as the only county show to have been given this two years in a row. “We have a big Olympics-focus at this year’s show and the sports we have secured are sure to attract the crowds. We’ve heard on the grapevine that we’ll be hosting two special guests too, in the form of Olympics and Paralympics mascots Wenlock and Mandeville who will be making special appearances at the Show.”
The 100sq metre Suffolk Sports Village will showcase 30 different sports for visitors to try out including rugby, cricket, judo hockey and cycling.
Mr Tancred continued: “We want the Sports Village to be as interactive as possible this year and really delve into people’s Olympics enthusiasm. We want people to have a go at their favourite sport or one they’ve never tried before. We’ll also be informing people about how to volunteer with their local sports club. Visitors can see how Suffolk is supporting its up and coming talented athletes and there will also be the chance to meet some past, present and future Olympians and Paralympians.
“When the Show comes around there will just be a few weeks to go to the start of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, and Suffolk Sport will be continuing their public pledge to get 25,000 more people in Suffolk active.
Over 800 trade stands have been booked for this year, including over 100 exhibitors which are new to the Show.
In addition, this year’s show will see the launch of Fifth Avenue, a high end shopping village located at the heart of the show’s attractions, close to the Grand Ring. Fifth Avenue has already attracted a selection of local boutiques, including Collen and Clare from Southwold, Nicola Sexton, based in Bury St Edmunds, and Laura Jane Boutique in Woodbridge.
Christopher Busby commented: “The trade stands have been snapped up quicker than ever this year and all areas of the Show are welcoming new exhibitors, all of whom are hoping to make the most of a unique opportunity to trade with 90,000 people. This is without doubt the biggest shop in Suffolk! As well as the food and drink and fashion areas, the Lifestyle Pavilion, which this year has a number of new exhibitors including John Lewis has also proved popular. Suffolk Skills will showcase a wide range of local craftsmen and college students will also be showcasing their handiwork this year.”
In a change to policy this year there will be no charge for Show visitors entering the Flower Show.
Once again the Show will showcase Suffolk’s equestrian prowess, hosting qualifying classes for the prestigious Royal International Horse Show, Olympia and Horse of the Year Show. For the show jumpers, there are seven classes at the Show, ranging from a 1.25m Open Championship to the International Trial and International Stairway, with a total prize fund in excess of £20,000.
The Equine village has been extended to feature a new horse demonstration ring and there will also be a new exhibit showcasing different equine breeds. This will be supported by tradestands who service the equine industry. Farriery demonstrations will take place in the newly extended farriery building and over 120 rounds of shoeing are expected to be completed over the two days of the Show.
There are over 700 competitive classes for livestock and equine over the two days with over £90,000 worth of prize money to be awarded.
Advance family tickets (2 adults and 2 children) cost just £40 and include the cost of parking. This is a saving of £19 against buying individual tickets on the day. Other advance tickets are £18 for adults, £5.50 for children and £16 for senior citizens. On the day of the show, tickets can be purchased on the entry gate and will cost £20 for adults, £7 for children, £18 for senior citizens and the Special Family Pass at £43, a saving of £11.
For more information visit http://www.suffolkshow.co.uk