Annual Ardingly show given the go ahead this summer
The annual South of England Show will be held over three days for the first time after being deemed a ‘Good to Go’ venue by Visit England.
The show – which is run by the South of England Agricultural Society and held at the South of England Showground in Ardingly – will go ahead as planned from Friday, June 11, to Sunday, June 13, to accommodate ticket demand.
The ‘Good to Go’ accreditation confirms that the event is following Government and industry Covid-19 guidelines and has a process in place to maintain cleanliness and aid social distancing.
Although visitor numbers to the showground will be restricted, the event will still run from 9am to 6.30pm each day and the show will take visitors back to the event’s roots with agriculture, country pursuits and connecting with the countryside and its industries at the core of the show.
Corrie Ince, show director at The South of England Agricultural Society, said: “The South of England Show is our biggest event of the year.
“Like so many other charities, it has been a tough year for us, especially as our Spring Live! and South of England Show had to be cancelled last year which had a huge impact on our income.
“Furthermore, we had to cancel all our charitable educational events, such as Connect with the Countryside which is normally attended by thousands of school children across the south east.
“With this in mind, we are absolutely thrilled that, having reviewed the government’s roadmap announcement with Mid Sussex District Council, we have had confirmation that our four shows planned for 2021 can go ahead.
“Each show - Spring Live!, the South of England Show, the Autumn Show & Game Fair, and the Winter Fair - provides a great opportunity for visitors to get out in the fresh air with their families and as support and celebrate the countryside which had supported so many of them during lockdown.
“It’s not just our four main seasonal shows though, our South of England event centre is getting back in full swing with global artists including Rag’n’Bone Man and Russell Watson set to perform on the grounds during the summer months.
“While we are of course adhering to strict new safety measures and following government guidelines, we are looking forward to a successful year and putting the struggles of the pandemic behind us.”
The ever popular food and village hall will return, and will feature an array of local producers from across the south, including a new grape and grain zone featuring local vineyards and microbreweries.
Livestock will still play a prominent part at the show, with displays and demonstrations throughout the three days, with exhibitors bringing their animals along so that visitors still get a unique opportunity to see and learn all about them.
Visitors looking to experience traditional countryside activities and crafts will be sure to enjoy the hedge-laying and traditional Sussex trug making demonstrations.
There will be plenty of entertainment for the younger members of the family too.
They can meet and learn about hundreds of animals, take part in an array of interactive experiences and an activity trail, learn about where their food comes from and how it’s produced, and test their knowledge with quizzes and competitions.
Even the teenagers will enjoy the show, spotting the next big thing with buskers from local music colleges, experiencing life as a Saxon or Viking in the medieval re-enactment zone, and enjoying the rides at the fairground.
Those wishing to buy tickets for the show must book them online in advance from www.seas.org.uk.