Suffolk Show bigger than ever

The 2008 Suffolk Show - taking place at the Trinity Park showground outside Ipswich on May 28 and 29 - is poised to deliver a massive boost for the local economy, with trade stand space fully booked and livestock entries holding up well despite the bluetongue outbreak.

The 2008 Suffolk Show - taking place at the Trinity Park showground outside Ipswich later this month - is poised to deliver a massive boost for the local economy, with trade stand space fully booked and livestock entries holding up well despite the bluetongue outbreak.

There will be more than 700 trade stands at this year's show - on Wednesday and Thursday, May 28 and 29 - including around 100 new exhibitors.

The total includes an increased contingent of agricultural-machinery suppliers, reflecting the more buoyant mood of the arable sector and the increase in the number of exhibitors is repeated across the board, from car dealerships and financial institutions to clothing retailers and craft companies.

Animal entries are also strong, with the show likely to feature a record of 186 heavy horses together with 1,324 entries across the light-horse classes, 357 cattle, 404 sheep and 92 pigs.

The principal sponsor of this year's show is the Port of Felixstowe, which will be using the event to showcase its Felixstowe South expansion project which is set to create more than 1,500 additional jobs.

Southwold brewer and leisure retailer Adnams is sponsoring the Food Hall, rebranded as The Adnams Food & Drink Experience. It will feature more than 60 exhibitors and a range of cookery demonstrations, with a strong emphasis on local produce.

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Adnams also plans to use the event to launch a draught version of its new East Green beer, developed as the country's first "carbon-neutral" ale with the support of the University of East Anglia.

Honorary show director Peter Over, taking charge of his first Suffolk Show, said yesterday the show would be "bursting at the seams with activity and new and improved features".

Heading the entertainment line-up in the main ring will be the Equimax Metropolitan Police Activity Ride, a demonstration of horsemanship featuring horses and riders who are also involved in front-line policing in London.

Most of the country's leading showjumpers will also be there, with the programme being led by an International Trial and the Fred Olsen Grand Prix.

In the President's Ring, the judging of sheep and heavy horses will be followed by the Jive Pony and X-Treme Motocross display teams.

An improved Countryside area, near the popular Children's Farm feature, will include gun-dog and tree-surgeon displays while the Wildlife area will include woodland crafts and pond dipping.

The Suffolk: Creating the Greenest County initiative which was launched at the Suffolk Show last year will feature in a new Green Village area for companies producing and supplying "green" products and services.

Evening entertainment on day one of the show will be Take on That, a Take That tribute act.

This year's show will again be a royal occasion, with the Duchess of Gloucester due to visit.

A family ticket covering entry for two adults and two children, plus car parking, is available in advance for £35 or on the day for £45.