Kent County Show 2015 delighted with visitor numbers

The Kent County Agricultural Society, organisers of the annual Kent County Show, are delighted to announce that visitor numbers for the three day Show reached 77,000.

kent county show robot

Crowds gather to watch ‘robotic entertainment’

The Kent County Agricultural Society, organisers of the annual Kent County Show, are delighted to announce that visitor numbers for the three day Show reached 77,000.

Kevin Attwood, Chairman said, “We are absolutely delighted with the figures, however, just as importantly we have been inundated with positive feedback from visitors, exhibitors and competitors. We have never had so many people take the time to thank us for their great day out and comment on what a wonderful atmosphere there was at this year’s Show”.

The Show started on Friday under the cloud of Operation Stack. Kent Highways and Kent Police worked hard to ensure that the traffic was kept flowing and ensured there was very little impact on Show visitors. By the weekend Operation Stack had been lifted which meant traffic was free flowing throughout, with only a couple of very minor delays due to volume of Show traffic.

The Friday attendance was almost 50% up on the 2014 Friday attendance which in part was due to the spectacular display by The Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team, the Red Arrows. The Showground came to a complete stop at 2pm when everyone turned to the skies to see the breathtaking aerial display. The clear blue sky made a dramatic background to the close-formation display that had everyone on the site spellbound for the duration.

Social Media feeds went crazy both during and after the display with people from the surrounding towns and villages having seen them on their approach to the Showground and some of the display from a distance.

Lucy Hegarty, Show Manager said:

“We have tried for many years to have The Red Arrows, however being such a worldwide attraction they have always had prior engagements. The wait was absolutely worth it, they literally stopped the Show. Our only problem is all our delighted visitors have asked that they come back next year and on all three days.”

cattle

livestock at kent County Show

Other highlights included the Metropolitan Police Mounted Branch Activity Ride, who were outstanding. Their incredible horsemanship which has been honed over years of training was breathtaking. The main Astor Ring was packed for their twice daily displays with the audience enjoying the unique skills of both horse and rider.

On Friday the BBC Countryfile team of Adam Henson, Tom Heap, Matt Baker, Ellie Harrison and Anita Rani, spent the whole day taking part in activities and demonstrations, meeting our visitors and filming their Summer Special which will be aired on 26th July.

The other favourites at the 2015 Show were the Lamb National, Husqvarna UK Pole Climbing Championship, the wonderfully amusing Sheep Show, Dog & Duck display, Birds of Prey and all the canine demonstrations. The Stow Caledonian Pipe Band led the music in the Astor Ring and also included local musician Fred Clark and The Casablanca Steps at the Bandstand.

The equine and livestock competitions were outstanding with huge numbers of visitors watching on all three days. The Supreme Cattle Champion was won by Designer Outside Bonheur from Designer Holsteins who are based in Essex. Other areas that benefitted from the increased attendance were the Kent Beekeepers and the Poultry Tent who had well thought out interactive areas.

Kent Young Farmers had an excellent three days, the highlight on Friday was the BBC Countryfile team taking part in the Kent Young Farmers Bale Pushing competition.

Online ticket sales were up on 2014, with sales the day before the Show peaking dramatically. The layout was updated for 2015 to include a large picnicing area with street food catering concessions serving local food a new addition. The shopping areas had been improved and walkways added to ensure flow of visitors.

Lucy Hegarty, Show Manager said:

“The quality of trade exhibitors this year was outstanding and some of the big names pulled out all the stops including Tesco, AGA, BUPA, British Gas and the BBC. The Show had an even larger number of local companies and organisation’s attending such as the Heart of Kent Hospice, Kent County Council, Gallagher Aggregates, Haynes Ford, Barretts of Canterbury, Jacksons Fencing, Versatile Equipment and the Kent Community Health NHS Foundation Trust. All their stands were of a high standard and built to ensure that visitors were made very welcome. We also welcomed back Haynes Agriculture Limited and Burden Brothers Agri with their agricultural machinery stands”.

tractors at show

Machinery on display at Kent County Show

Other areas that benefitted from the warm sunny days on Friday and Saturday was the Woodland Area, hosted in the beautifully cool Murrain Wood on the Kent Showground. The Guides, Scouts, Kent Wildlife Trust, Woodland Trust, Rural Craftsmen and Working Horses were all based in this beautiful spot. Visitors took advantage of the shade and discovered a hidden gem.

The Kent County Show were able to interact with visitors through Social Media Channels and the website, which had thousands of visits over the three days. The Kent County Agricultural Society are delighted that they have over 7,500 Twitter followers, and 6,500 Facebook likes. The Show had over 9,500 profile visits via Twitter, 88,000 user visits to the website and engaged with 23,000 people on Facebook.

The Show organisers are looking forward to the 2016 Show which will be held on Friday 15th, Saturday 16th and Sunday 17th July.

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