At the launch of the Iverk Show were: Laoise Walsh, Dorothy Lazenby, Irish Shows Association with Monie Doyle and Mary Ryan of The Iverk Show’s floral section PICTURE: Joe Cashin
Iverk Show in Piltown, Co Kilkenny is probably the best show of its kind in Ireland.
On the last Saturday in August, up to 25,000 people converge on the village of Piltown for what is one of the most important social events of the year.
It attracts young and old - all sections of the community for what has been a traditional day out for the people of the Barony of Iverk, (which takes in all of Mooncoin and Piltown), since its foundation in 1826.
The real attraction is the camaraderie, the colour the pageantry, banter and the buzz around the show grounds.
There are prestigious and lucrative competitions for cattle, sheep, chickens, ducks, marrows, onions, carrots, spuds and horses.
The Grand Prix in the main showjumping arena is wonderful and then there's the tug-o-war, the fashion show, the best dressed lady, the bonny baby competition, the arts and crafts, the trade stands, the bar and the food stalls.
It is a canine lovers dream with the mother of all dog shows and a dog agility fun event.
Another important facet of the show is the focus on school children. There are loads of competitions in handwriting, painting, creative writing, poetry, to name a few.
For those with a good eye, there is a photographic competition.
A lot of the emphasis at Iverk Show is on fun and there are loads of stalls selling all sorts of goods and just to watch the work and preparation that goes into getting cattle ready for their judging is incredible, hairdryers and all.
I have often heard it said that if you could bottle the enthusiasm and work ethic shown the volunteers who make up the committee of the show in Piltown, and spread all over the country, the country would be in great shape.
On Saturday, come down to Piltown and see for yourself why so many people flock to the south Kilkenny village for the annual show.
Parking is not a problem with free spaces in well drained fields all along the perimeter.
The vegetable competitions alone are incredible and it an education just to wander around and look at the entries in Class 23 for the largest vegetable marrow at the show.
It's almost like a parish affair with a number of families from around the village of Piltown, especially the Tower Road and Tybroughney, vying for the much coveted cup and first prize.
The same surnames keep reappearing and there is something good about that.
The best dressed lady is another huge part of the show and women from all over the south east attend to win the first prize of an overnight break in the five star Merrion Hotel with a €400 gift card for Irish designer, Louise Kennedy's store.