As the President of the Devon County Agricultural Association, the Countess of Wessex will spend two days taking in the 122nd Devon County Show.
The association stages the show, and Show Secretary, Ollie Allen, says the Countess is looking forward to being part of the celebrations. These three days are the busiest in the county’s calendar. Metres of canvas are being erected to create a virtual town; the largest structure for the event is the Crafts and Gardens Pavilion, which is a 500 feet by 80 feet traditional marquee.
The pavilion will contain a memorial dedicated to the men and women who died during World War I. Locals donated 29,000 handmade poppies which will help form a massive display titled: Devon Remembers.
The Devon County Show is also a time where local farmers have the opportunity to meet with the most influential people in agriculture like Meurig Raymond, the President of the National Farmers Union.
Ollie told the Somerset County Gazette: “I am sure Her Royal Highness will enjoy going around the showground and will appreciate the wealth of passion and talent working in farming, food production, horticulture, craft and country life.
“One other thing about the show which is more valuable than ever is the opportunity it provides for a scattered rural community to come together, renew old friendships, make new ones, compare notes and – this year especially – discuss what the future may hold.”
Deborah Clark, the owner of Southernhay House in Exeter and Burgh Island, said: “At Southernhay House, we eagerly anticipate the Devon County Show each year and are proud and pleased to support our heavenly county.
“If champagne were made in Devon, my life would be complete; nevertheless, each year I am surprised and refreshed by the utter variety and quality of produce from ‘the UK’s kitchen’.”
Taken, in part, from the Devon County Shows website, here’s just a taste of the fun you can experience the third week of this month:
“Amazing animals – livestock, equine competitions, pedigree dog show and even bees! The very best local food and drink – tuck in on the day and take away! And don’t miss demos every day. We’re joined by 2-star Michelin chef Michael Caines on Thursday and Saturday only.
“Dazzling entertainment in five rings including Monster Trucks (on Friday & Saturday). Blooming flowers and crafts – don’t miss BBC Spotlight’s Andy Breare’s allotment! Devon Remembers – a river of handcrafted poppies to remember the 11,000 men and women of Devon who lost their lives in the First World War.
“Scrum down and enjoy the seven-a-side rugby match pitching Young Farmers against students from Bicton (Thursday only) encouraged by the one and only Big Chief from Exeter Chiefs. Tap your feet to the beat of the Royal Marines band (Thursday only) and the City of Exeter Pipes and Drums (Saturday only).”