17 Aug 2016
A perfect way to celebrate a quarter of a century of this special event
After another year of hard work and preparation, the 25th anniversary of the Tullamore Show was one of the most successful ever. From early in the morning, massive crowds rolled onto the Butterfield Estate to explore all that was on offer across the 250-acre showgrounds.
Despite clouds overhead, the 20-degree settled weather and dry ground made for perfect conditions for a day of walking around, laying on the grass, and enjoying vast array of things to do and see. Music belted out from the Band Stand from 10.30am with Joe Wynne kicking off proceedings and revellers taking to the dance floor straight away.
Soon, the Tullamore Town Band were leading the Show’s Executive and this year’s VIPs to the opening ceremony. Speeches from Secretary, Freda Kinnarney, outgoing Chairman, Rodney Cox, AIB's Deirdre Cleary, and Minister of State, Andrew Doyle, amongst others set the tone for a day of celebrations; while a poem recital from Exceptional Offaly Person Award recipient, Connie Roberts, reminded everyone of the importance of resilience and compassion.
People traversed every walkway in sight from the start and only got busier as the hours ticked by. Some clearly on a mission to find what they had come to see, while most seemed without a care in the world as they check out our new app, held hands, pushed prams or walked the family dog as the colourful array of 700-plus trade stands vied for their attention.
Each section at the event seemed like its own little universe at times. The livestock section was lined with animals and handlers as they waited for their turn to compete, the bar buzzed with atmosphere and commentary from the latest sporting event, Michael English's dulcet tones reverberated through the air, while shouts of excitement were the soundtrack to the children’s entertainment with bouncy castles, climbing walls and a host of other fairground attractions on offer.
Smoke chugged slowly from the vintage machines on display, dogs and ponies weaved their way through their respective obstacle courses, while passionate inventors told judges and curious passers-by about their moments of inspiration.
Inside the marquees and pavilions was a sea of colour: competitors showing off their latest wares of freshly baked cakes and flowers in full bloom, models strutted their stuff on the catwalk, and experts gave demonstrations in everything from food to photography with onlookers of every age taking notes for next year’s Show.
And that’s only scratching the surface of what was the perfect way to mark a quarter of a century of this special event. We’d like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who contributed to making it happen over the past 12 months and, indeed, the last 25 years. Of course, we’d also like to express our deep appreciation to those who came to visit from across the country and farther afield.
The Tullamore Show would be nothing without its dedicated volunteers or the tens of thousands of people that come each year. We’ve grown from a small event to one of the biggest in the country on the back of the efforts of our dedicated band of volunteers, while the continued growth in attendance gives us great cause for hope for the next year 25 years. Thanks so much again - until next year, we wish you all good health and happiness.