The best of the region was celebrated by thousands of visitors who flocked to the 2021 Devon County Show, hailing the agricultural event a success – becoming the first with livestock to be held in the UK for more than a year.
The three-day show this year boasted 18,000 visitors on its first day, keen to sample the delights of Devon after the Covid-19 pandemic cancelled the 2020 show and prompted a new July date in line with the Government’s relaxation on restrictions.
Show organisers said the turnout had been ‘better than expected’ over the 83-acre site, as many of the regular attractions moved outside in a bid to stop the spread of the virus.
The food and drink tent this year was successfully turned into outdoor pavilion, while local craft and plant stalls were also staged in the open.
Sam Mackenzie Green, Devon County Show manager, said: ‘When the Government announced that agricultural shows could join the list of permitted events back on April 12th, we were determined to bring the Devon County Show back.
“It’s not been without its challenges and we’ve worked incredibly hard, in conjunction with East Devon District Council, to implement all the measures to make it good to go.
“Of course, we can do everything we can from our end, but at the end of the day, it was down to the public to take much of the responsibility. And we were delighted to see visitors observing the rules and regulations.”
Sam added: “There has been an absolutely fantastic atmosphere on the showground with lots of smiling faces. But it never felt overly busy.
“Our strategy of spreading things out much further than usual across our huge, eighty-three-acre site worked really well.
“Traders were delighted to be back doing business, and the public seemed over the moon to be out again, revelling in the unique atmosphere that a county show delivers.”
Organisers said the 2021 Devon County Show was the first agricultural show with livestock to take place in the UK for 22 months.
The show team said the event had ‘fantastic’ for livestock farmers, who were able to come together after a long absence.
A Devon County Show spokeswoman said: “The turnout of animals has been fantastic, and much higher than we anticipated with many competitors coming to Devon County Show for the first time due to the cancellation of other shows they would normally go to.
“Hopefully now that they’ve seen what we do – we can keep them coming for the long term.”
The 2021 Devon County Show was held over three days, July 2-4, and ended with a parade on Sunday recognising those who have ‘stepped up to the plate’ amid the pandemic.