Great Yorkshire Show set to celebrate the best of rural life with four-day showcase for first time in its history

The director of the Great Yorkshire Show has pledged to ensure England’s largest agricultural showcase will be a “very special” celebration of rural life as the event has been extended to run over four days for the first time in its history.

The Grand Cattle Parade in the Main Ring of the Great Yorkshire Show is set to be one of the highlights of this year's show, which begins on Tuesday next week and runs for four days for the first time in its history. (Photo: Yorkshire Agricultural Society)
The Grand Cattle Parade in the Main Ring of the Great Yorkshire Show is set to be one of the highlights of this year's show, which begins on Tuesday next week and runs for four days for the first time in its history. (Photo: Yorkshire Agricultural Society)

Painstaking planning to ensure that the show can go ahead has seen organisers from the Yorkshire Agricultural Society liaising closely with North Yorkshire County Council, Public Health England and Harrogate Borough Council.

The event will begin on Tuesday next week, and a host of measures have had to be enforced to ensure that visitors can attend the Great Yorkshire Showground in Harrogate safely and adhere to ongoing Covid-19 protocols.

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Capacity has been limited to a maximum of 26,000 people a day to minimise any potential crowding and to ensure social distancing can be maintained at all times throughout the site.

The show director, Charles Mills, said: “This will be a very special Great Yorkshire Show and one we are all so looking forward to after these difficult times.

“It will be a slightly different show to normal but we have done our best to bring you an event which will fly the flag for farming and celebrate our industry.”

Ticket sales for next week’s event were temporarily halted while the capacity numbers were finalised, and the final raft of tickets are now on sale via the Great Yorkshire Show’s official website.

It will mean that the show will welcome a total of 104,000 people in total over the extended four days, instead of the usual 135,000 visitors over three days.

Opening hours have also been extended and the show will now run from 8am to 6pm each day to allow visitors to arrive and leave in a more staggered manner to help avoid queues.

North Yorkshire County Council’s director of health and adult services, Richard Webb, said talks have been ongoing for several months to ensure that the event can be staged.

He said: “We recognise the importance of the show, not only for the people of North Yorkshire and Yorkshire, but also for the farming community which has played such a vital role during the pandemic with food supplies and keeping the whole supply chain going.”

Visitors to the show are being requested to download the NHS app before arriving to be able to scan QR codes where necessary, such as hospitality areas.

Tickets for the show are this year in advance only and visitors are asked to print out e-tickets to help with social distancing at the gates.

Organisers have revealed that they have been inundated with entries following the cancellation of last year’s event.

Some of the best animals in the country will be competing at the show, with waiting lists for sheep pens, record numbers for poultry and some of the best showjumpers in the UK competing.

National competitions will be held for both Beef Shorthorn cattle and Bleu Du Maine sheep, and among the highlights in the Main Ring will be the Grand Cattle Parade and performances from Atkinson Action Horses.

Last year’s Great Yorkshire Show was cancelled due to coronavirus restrictions and a virtual online event was instead over three days in July, attracting viewers from more than 40 different countries.