Liskeard Show is a popular one day event which takes place the second Saturday in July. The Showground is located just outside the market town of Liskeard on the A390 towards Merrymeet and in truth it is little more than a field for most of the year. However, in July it suddenly becomes the centre of the universe, for a few hours at least.
The Liskeard Show starts at 8am!
The Show starts at 8am (it has a lot to pack into the day!) and soon lines of cars are crawling into the temporary parking areas (more fields) and families are pouring into the event. It is one of the biggest agricultural shows in the southwest with around 7,000 visitors. In 2014 there is a free bus service from the town to the showground to ease parking congestion.
There are several equestrian events including dressage and showjumping as well as some carriage racing. Admire the beautifully groomed heavy horses bedecked in traditional horse brasses on their harnesses and pulling carts and drays as they were traditionally used in farming and the brewery business.
Dog owners bring in dogs or all shapes and sizes to take part in the Dog Show. Pens of bleating sheep and spotlessly clean cattle are all entered in the different classes and are led around the parade ring by their white-coated breeder/owners. The table full of silverware is pretty impressive and is fiercely fought over by rival farmers.
Fun family entertainment with JCB Diggers
As well as the animal classes the family entertainment is superb. Where else can you see the Blazing Saddles Stunt Team, Heavy Horses on display, the East Cornwall Foxhounds, a vintage tractor parade and plenty of local bands and young musicians? There's also a Donkey Derby which is always fun to watch.
I'll never forget seeing JCB Diggers completing an obstacle course against the clock. They had to manoeuvre over low hurdles using their front digger buckets and stabilizer legs to lift themselves up and over the obstacles. They had to balance glasses of water on planks which they carried from A to B, pick up tiny items with pinpoint accuracy and navigate a series of traffic cones. Needless to say, they amazed the whole audience with their dexterity and accuracy.
There are classes for smaller pets such as guinea pigs and old breeds of poultry, complete with showy tail feathers and shaggy feet. The kids will love it! Judging of fruit and vegetables, flower arrangements and single specimen flowers all takes place early in the day and you can them browse around the entries.
Three marquees at the Liskeard Show
The Cornish Food Marquee is brimming with Cornish products for sale from local meats and cheese to fruit juices and scrumpy. Pickles and preserves can be sampled and the homemade pies and cakes are quickly sold out. During the day there are various cookery demonstrations by local chefs who show you new ways to cook local seafood and fish.
The Home and Gardens Marquee has gardening displays, furniture restorers and other local business representatives. The third tent is a shopping and craft arcade with everything from face painting to original artworks, woodwork, cards and handicrafts.
Around the rest of the field are a number of trade stands with local agricultural businesses and charities all taking a spot. New cars, tractors and farm equipment are all on display for farmers and would-be farmers to drool over and discuss. It all adds up to a wonderful day of rural traditions and businesses and as long as the weather is fine it is always a fun family day out.
Have you ever attended the Liskeard Show or are you planning to visit this year? What are you most looking forward to? Do you know of other agricultural shows in Cornwall that you can recommend to other visitors?