For the first time, a Donegal game will highlight the closing of an Ardara Show this Saturday. Visitors to the scenic Sandfield location will be able to watch the Donegal v Armagh game on a big screen towards the end of an action packed livestock, marquee and afternoon programme.
It is the third year that the show is being staged at Sandfield, following permission from the National Parks and Wildlife Service of the Department of Arts Heritage and the Gaeltacht.
This year’s cattle section highlights a class offering a total of €1,000 in prize money. The key class for a Beef Type Heifer, showing no permanent teeth, has prize of €400, sponsored by POD Trak Ltd, a second prize of €300, (Gallagher’s Bakery), and a third prize of €200 North West Wind Ltd). Two remaining prizes offer €100 between them. The winner will also receive the Dunkineely Livestock Mart Cup. The livestock area, introduces a special ring this year in which young competitors can learn about handling and parading livestock under the watchful eye of experienced stock people. Rosettes will be awarded to certain competitors.
Key event in the competitive sheep section is the All-Ireland Scotch Black Face Ewe Lamb Final sponsored by Osmonds. There is a new class for the best Pedigree Texel Ewe. Ponies and horses will be judges in 18 classes.
Away from the livestock, the afternoon programme features the arrival of the Minions, characters children will love, presented by Corvenioes Entertainment. They will present two special magic shows. And returning this year will be the Trialstar Motorcycle Display Team. Small electric motorcycles will be available for children 6-11 under strict supervision.
The giant marquee features 120 classes with everything from horticulture, craft, wine making, photography and floral arrangement.
This year the show is being officially opened at 12.30pm by Eileen Curran, a stalwart of the show.
Other attractions feature the Mid West Donegal Vintage Club, Pedro Soltani and his birds of prey, a fun dog show – including a class for the All-Ireland Gun Dog Championship - children’s sports, tug-of-war and penalty kick competition, tossing-the-sheaf and trade stands. Although there will be ample parking space for visitors to Sandfield, with a one-way entry and exit system to the field, there will be a regular free bus service from The Diamond Ardara, to ease traffic flow.
Admission is €10 for adults. Children under 13 are free, with a reduced charge for teenagers. Car parking is free.
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