King’s Troop spectacle will top the bill at 2017 Royal Norfolk Show
- Credit: Army
The Royal Norfolk Show has secured a fittingly regal spectacle as the centrepiece for this summer's event, which will once again celebrate the best of the county's food, arts, enterprise and entertainment.
Showgoers will be treated to rare Grand Ring displays by the King's Troop Royal Horse Artillery, the Queen's own ceremonial saluting battery, when the event returns to the Norfolk Showground on June 28 and 29
Show director Mark Nicholas said it was a 'massive coup' to attract such high-profile performers – and he hopes they will draw a large crowd which can then learn more about Norfolk's rural traditions and innovations, as well as taking advantage of shopping and arts attractions.
'We are celebrating Norfolk at its best,' he said. 'This is the platform where the county comes together to demonstrate and exhibit all the great industries that are going on within our county, and there is no finer platform.
'It is a celebration of food, farming, and the countryside. But it is also a celebration of innovation and enterprise and the arts.
'The focus on Norfolk food and drink producers in the food hall will be bigger and better than ever before. We have put in place a sponsorship initiative with HSBC Bank to allow the smallest and newest producers to come to the show, which maybe couldn't come before because they didn't have the resources.
'We're proud to have the Red Poll Cattle Society National Show this year, which is a fantastic beast, native to Norfolk and Suffolk. So people can understand why they are important to our industry – and how that connects to our cookery stage, where the Art of Butchery returns this year.
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'That is what makes this show unique. We have got that wider proposition. You can understand why it is important to rear livestock, you can understand the economic impact of farming, and you can look at the future of farming at the Innovation Hub. It is all here at the show. We are trying to sell the story of agriculture and food production from beginning to end.'
A major theme for 2017 will be Celebrating the Arts, featuring organisations involved in the arts, music and performance, including the Showstoppers 'Choir of a Thousand' project which will unite singers from across the county to perform a specially commissioned piece of music, while the Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts and the re-vamped Show Art Gallery will offer a spectacle of colour and artistic talent.
THE KING'S TROOP
The King's Troop Royal Horse Artillery will appear in the Grand Ring on both days of the show, making its only appearance outside of London in its 70th anniversary year.
Showgoers can witness the power and skill of soldiers who drive teams of six horses to pull six First World War 'thirteen pounder' state saluting guns. The Troop, which has 111 horses in total, is an integral part of the Household Troops, and its duties include the firing of royal salutes in Hyde Park on royal anniversaries and state occasions.
'We're absolutely thrilled to have The King's Troop Royal Horse Artillery at this year's show in their 70th year,' said show director Mark Nicholas. 'This is an extremely proud moment for the county as it is their only appearance in the UK, outside of London, this year.
'It is a massive coup and it reflects the standing in which the Royal Norfolk Show is held nationally, because these guys can go anywhere they want.'
MORE SHOW HIGHLIGHTS
• A packed livestock programme has more than 600 classes for cattle, sheep, pigs and goats, including the Red Poll Cattle Society National Show.
• Also new for 2017 will be the awarding of The Queen's Prize Perpetual Challenge Trophy to the best animal in the beef cattle section.
• There will be more than 200 equine classes – including a record number of Horse of the Year Show qualifiers.
• The Grow it, Cook it, Eat it Stage will include two days of demonstrations and talks by some of Norfolk's top chefs to showcase the best seasonal and regional produce.
• The Forestry and Wood Village is a new attraction to showcase the skills and trades of the industry.
• A new performance space within the newly created Royal Square will also widen the musical offering at the show.
• This year's show will see more than 700 businesses, selling everything from luxury goods and clothing to state-of-the-art agricultural equipment.