Suffolk Show: Looking ahead to the 2014 Suffolk Show - taking place on May 28 and 29
- Credit: Archant
Bill Baker, honorary show director of the Suffolk Show, previews an event beloved of East Anglians and visitors to the area.
The Suffolk Show is not just a great day out for farmers, like me, but for families. We are delighted that readers of the East Anglian Daily Times and BBC Radio Suffolk listeners recently voted our show, that celebrates food and farming, in their list of the top 50 things to do in Suffolk.
We are especially pleased as it is literally a pop-up show held for just two days every year, not something that is open all year round, so that’s a real achievement.
It is important for me that it is a family day out too. As a father-of-five I know how much it costs to treat the family, and half term can get quite pricey.
That’s why this year we are inviting children aged 14 and under to enter free and have introduced a young adults ticket (aged 15-18) for £5 when bought before midnight on May 25.
Inside the gates there are lots of hands-on activities centred around food, farming, sport, wildlife as well as ring displays and street acts that will provide you all with lots of interactive fun and amusement that won’t make a hole in your pocket and may even stimulate you to consider making a career in the industry.
This year our theme is Explore, Discover, Taste and Enjoy. We want you to explore the thousands of animals, large and small in cattle sheds, on show or performing in the nine rings, or there to be stroked in the new Farm Discovery Zone. This area takes you on a journey through all various aspects of farming.
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You can watch eggs hatching, hold a new-born chick or duckling, stroke a sheep, milk a cow, discover how your food is grown and even cook some yourself using some oats and wheat grains grown in fields nearby.
Where else can you discover what it is like to sit inside a mighty Apache or a military vehicle, explore inside a brand new tractor cab to discover all the amazing technology farmer’s have inside the cab, as well have a go at more than 30 sports – for free? Where else can you sit for hours enjoying top class show jumping, Shetland pony Grand National racing, sheepdog trials and award-winning cattle, pigs and sheep?
I know one aspect that any day out for the Baker family has to include is food – and plenty of it. All around the 100 acres used for the show there are literally hundreds of different tasty food and drink experiences waiting to be discovered, tasted and enjoyed.
Let’s start with the Adnams Food and Drink Experience, where you will find lots of locally produced foods on display ready for you to sample.
You can also buy them to take home and cook later. In the Greene King Eat Street there are different stands selling a range of food to eat now. It’s a simple idea, everyone can select their own meal yet you all sit together to eat – and listen to the Caribbean steel band and be entertained by the living statues or Jitterbug dancers.
There’s even a T-Rex animatronic dinosaur coming to sniff out the goodies on Thursday. Let’s hope he doesn’t go off looking for the new parrot show – rescue parrots showing off just how clever they can be!
And, with a 2 for 1 Abellio Greater Anglia offer, your day of discovery at the Suffolk Show is just waiting to be tasted and enjoyed.