Crowds at ‘Ploughing 2018’ total 81,500 today – NPA claims

A total of 81,500 people attended ‘Ploughing 2018’ today (Thursday, September 20), the National Ploughing Association (NPA) has claimed.

Today represented the second day that the event went ahead, given the cancellation announced yesterday following the damage caused by Storm Ali.

On Tuesday – the first day of ‘Ploughing 2018’ – crowds equalled approximately 97,500, according to the NPA.

The attendance on the first day of the event last year reportedly reached 100,000.

Compared to 2017, reported attendance figures for the second day of the event were down by about 5,500.

The NPA paid tribute to the exhibitors, contractors, service providers and local volunteers, as well as its own team for putting in a “mammoth effort” to ensure that the event went ahead.

Speaking this evening, the managing director of the NPA – Anna May McHugh – said: “The feedback from exhibitors so far is that business is extremely vibrant and those I spoke with today said sales are already well ahead of what they predicted.

“[They also said that they] are delighted to have another opportunity to exhibit again tomorrow (Friday, September 21), given yesterday’s unforeseen postponement.

This is very positive for both rural Ireland and the wider economy.

“Shoppers and machinery and agricultural enthusiasts joined celebrities and politicians on the 30km of track-way to savour all of what the ‘Ploughing’ has to offer,” she concluded.

During the course of today’s events, the final of the National Brown Bread Baking competition in the Aldi tent was reportedly attended by an audience of “several hundred”. Emma Ferguson – a mother of tree from Trim, Co. Meath – was named as the overall winner.

Despite some showers this evening, traffic is moving “smoothly” out of the car-parks, the NPA added.

Concluding, the association outlined that the gates will open to the public at 9:00am tomorrow morning.