With just three weeks to the staging of this year’s National Ploughing Championships, preparations are in full swing. Some of the more unusual and interesting statistics from the event are:
- The first visit to Laois by the Ploughing would have been as far back as 1943, this is the 5th ploughing championships in the county.
- Taking place from the 24-26 of September, the championships will require more than 700 acres including 150 acres of competitions, 100 acres of trade arenas and demonstrations and over 400 hundreds of acres to accommodate the free car parking.
- Last year the championships attracted 187,000 people during the three days making it the largest show of its type in Europe.
- This year over 400 temporary staff, mostly volunteers, will be need to help with the smooth running of the event. This includes over three hundred stewards, judges and supervisors.
- A study carried out by UCD at the 2011 Championships showed that the visitors spent just over €36m during the three days of the event in 2011. This resulted in a tax take of €6.6m for the National Exchequer
- President Michael D Higgins will be the guest of honour at the Opening Ceremony on Tuesday 24th September at 12 noon.
- Trade enquires this year have exceeded all previous years with near on 1,400 exhibitors taking stands at the event.
- 7,500 Trakway panels needed to stage this year has also increased, 22.5 km of Trakway will be laid.
- 80 per cent will travel from outside the area and travel from locations throughout the entire country, the UK and Europe.
- Nine generators are required on site this year with a huge 45,000 kms of electrical cable needed to power the entire venue. That’s about 6,000 kw of generation, which is enough to power a small town.
- This year 7,000 fencing panels will be required. This represents 14km kilometres of fencing.
- More than 2,000 signs will be erected using 740 stakes. Internally in the trade arena over 1,400 internal finger point signs will be erected for signage.
- A prize fund of €18,000 is up for grabs in the ploughing completion with 340 entries over 21 classes.
- Over 80,000 cars are expected to be on the road over the three days.
The catering section on site will comprise of nearly 40 dedicated catering units and will employ up to 1,200 catering staff during the three days.
Within this catering section:
- There will be approximately 160,000 bottles of minerals drank.
- 60,000 cups of tea and coffee sold each day.
- During the three days, 16 tonne of prime Irish beef and three tonne of local sourced pork will be consumed.
- Five tonne of Irish sourced soft fruit will be used during the event.
- Approximately 14 acres of Irish potatoes were grown to supply the event.
- Up to 30,000 breakfasts / breakfast rolls will be sold each day.
- 16,000 litres of milk will be consumed during the three days.
- 14,000 eggs/over four tonne of cheese.
- 1,500 boxes of fresh Irish salads
Let the countdown begin!