Traditions of the Royal Norfolk Show given a fresh perspective for 2016

Royal Norfolk Show director Mark Nicholas.

Royal Norfolk Show director Mark Nicholas. - Credit: Nick Butcher

The annual summer celebration of everything special about Norfolk will return with all its traditional appeal this year – along with a fresh guiding philosophy from the new man at the helm.

Tickets are now on sale for the 2016 Royal Norfolk Show, which will return on June 29 and 30, bringing its cornucopia of entertainment, food, shopping, farming heritage and innovation to the showground in Costessey.

There will also be a host of new attractions at this year's event, which is the first under the stewardship of Mark Nicholas, who took over as show and programmes director for the Royal Norfolk Agricultural Association (RNAA) last year.

Mr Nicholas said he wanted to gather the multitude of attractions together under three guiding themes, creating a narrative to remind exhibitors and visitors of the over-riding purpose of the show.

'Grow it, Cook it, Eat it': Binding together activities promoting agriculture and food production, including the livestock rings, machinery demonstrations, the Cookery Theatre, the Discovery Zone and the Innovation Hub.

'Celebrating our Heritage': A platform for several organisations which are celebrating significant anniversaries this year, including Norfolk Wildlife Trust, Norfolk Chamber of Commerce, Countrysiders, City College Norwich, Cub Scouts and RAF Marham.

'The Retail Experience': Promoting the 650 businesses who will be trading at 'Norfolk's largest outdoor shopping experience'.

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Mr Nicholas said: 'I wanted to articulate our approach to planning this year's show, and ultimately to make sure we get our message out more clearly as to the huge variety of activities that go on at the show.

'The foundation of that will always be farming and agriculture in Norfolk. What we mean by 'Grow it Cook it, Eat it' is the whole agricultural system, and the whole idea of farm to fork. It is an idea that many parts of the show can hang off, from machinery manufacturers through to the revamped cookery theatre and all those bespoke food suppliers who are selling Norfolk produce in the food hall.

'But it is bigger than that, because it feeds into everything else – if you add in the Discovery Zone and the Innovation Hub, what you get is a credible framework. Our education trails will be structured to encourage an understanding of the past and enable the learning of discovery and innovation for the future.'

Mr Nicholas, a former company commander in the Royal Anglian Regiment, said the centenary of RAF Marham and the Queen's 90th birthday offered a perfect opportunity to combine military and royal attractions under the 'Celebrating our Heritage' theme.

'The show has always been a great place to celebrate success and to celebrate achievements,' he said. 'We are thrilled that RAF Marham has chosen the show to celebrate its centenary.

'By extending our hand to Marham and saying: 'Come and celebrate with is in Norfolk', the RAF have responded by sending us the Queen's Colour Squadron, the RAF Falcons parachute team and a Spitfire flypast.'

Tickets for the 2016 Royal Norfolk Show are now on sale, with guaranteed discounts for those booking in advance online.

The RNAA is again offering free admission for school groups, with pupils, teachers and helpers within allowable ratios all receiving complimentary entry. To take advantage of the free admission for school groups, schools must pre-order tickets for their parties by June 1. School group tickets will not be available for purchase on show days.

For more information on prices, concessions and discounts, click here to visit the show website.