Devon County Show preview: 90,000 visitors expected with pavilion to show royal wedding, Exeter Chiefs match and FA Cup Final

PUBLISHED: 09:19 14 May 2018 | UPDATED: 09:26 14 May 2018

Devon County Show. Picture: Steve Pope

Devon County Show. Picture: Steve Pope


The showground at Westpoint, Exeter, is a hive of activity as final preparations are made in time for the 123rd Devon County Show on May 17, 18 and 19.

Devon County Show. Picture: contributed Devon County Show. Picture: contributed

The stewards are briefed, exhibitors are setting up their stands and the stalls, pens, stables and kennels are ready for all the animals.

“The stage is set, the players are nearly ready and we can’t wait to lift the curtain on Thursday morning for Devon’s big day out,” said show secretary Ollie Allen.

More than 90,000 visitors are expected to see some of the best livestock, taste fabulous local food and drink, experience country life and enjoy a wealth of entertainment.

New this year is the Watering Hole, a huge red and blue marquee accommodating street food, live music and plenty of seats. For the first time, music will carry on into the evening with Queen tribute band Rhapsody on Thursday and a Sparks tribute act on Friday.

Devon County Show. Picture: contributed Devon County Show. Picture: contributed

“Saturday is a big day in the national calendar,” added Ollie. “We’ve installed a huge LED screen in ‘The Watering Hole’ - our new picnic pavilion - to give visitors a ring-side seat at the royal wedding, the Exeter Chiefs rugby match and the FA Cup final. There’s no need to miss the action and you can enjoy all the fun of the show, too. So come early, stay late and most of all, relax and enjoy.”

There will be thousands of farm animals and horses, a huge food and drink pavilion, a fabulous floral art, gardens and rural crafts feature, a busy countryside area, a wide variety of exciting and entertaining displays and, for the farmer visitor, plenty of agricultural machinery to look at.

Visitors can walk between the pens and see prize-winning animals standing quietly as the stockmen pamper and prepare them for their big moment when they are judged. On Friday and Saturday, they can take in the spectacle of the grand parade of livestock being walked around the Rathbones main arena.

Also starring in the main arena’s packed programme of entertainment are the Monster Trucks show (Friday and Saturday), show jumping, Zorb football and other countryside displays.

Devon County Show. Picture: contributed Devon County Show. Picture: contributed

In the massive Food and Drink Pavilion visitors will be able to sample from stands offering everything from artisan cheese to local gin, spelt bread to honey and charcuterie. For the first time home cooks will be competing for the accolade of star baker in new cakes and preserves classes in the Baking Competitions.

Celebrity chefs including Devon’s Michelin star chef Michael Caines, will be taking their turns in the demonstration kitchen and provide mouth-watering dishes made from locally sourced produce.

Life-sized inflatable ocean creatures will float inside the new Ocean Discovery Zone staged by marine conservation organisations and the children’s ‘Farmwise’ farm will offer youngsters a wide array of hands-on activities.

In the Crafts and Gardens feature the clock will turn back to the First World War with displays about the Women’s Land Army alongside 30,000 handmade poppies which commemorate the South West lives lost in the conflict. Falklands War veteran, Simon Weston, will be exhibiting in the feature on Saturday.

Show secretary Ollie Allen. Show secretary Ollie Allen.

The show will be throwing a huge Royal wedding party on the Saturday with live TV coverage, a mass confetti throw and a head gear competition. There will be wedding trees for visitors to write their good wishes and, after the Show, the messages will sent to the Royal couple together with a wedding present of a Devon tree sapling to commemorate the Queen’s Commonwealth. The Queen’s Commonwealth Canopy project was launched in 2015 when an appeal was made to all 53 Commonwealth nations to contribute areas of indigenous forest to be preserved in perpetuity to mark Her Majesty’s lifetime of service to the Commonwealth.

Youngsters can follow the Mole Avon ‘Wheelie Wild Trail’ around the showground and take part in activities at all 12 stops including the FarmWise Children’s Farm where they can get involved in apple pressing, bread baking and seed planting.

The whole show is for all ages and is really family friendly on Saturday (May 19), when one adult can bring two children (5-15) free.

Advance sales tickets will finish at midnight on Wednesday but tickets can still be purchased online and at the entrances to the showground at On The Gate prices.

Visit for more details.

Comments have been disabled on this article.

Other News Stories

Yesterday, 19:37

Nestled at the top of Jacob’s Ladder, the new Clock Tower Cakery and Restaurant has become somewhat of a hidden gem for evening diners in Sidmouth.

Read more
Yesterday, 17:30

A new tearoom offering ‘good old fashioned service’ has opened in Woolbrook Newsagents aiming to provide a community hot spot for residents.

Read more
Yesterday, 16:06

Residents are being called upon to lend a helping hand to tidy up the town.

Read more
Yesterday, 16:00

A couple who married on the same day at the Duke and Duchess of Sussex said they would not have changed a thing about their special day.

Read more
Yesterday, 15:59

Budleigh Salterton’s fun-packed Gala Week returns from Saturday, May 26, to Sunday, June 3, with a host of entertainment for all the family.

Read more
Yesterday, 14:33

Sidmouth’s sights will be showcased to the young and old alike when the Hopper Bus rolls back into town for its first trip of the year this weekend.

Read more
Yesterday, 14:01

Tickets are still on sale for a charity concert at the Manor Pavilion Theatre supporting FORCE cancer charity.

Read more
Yesterday, 12:39

Ottery businesses are being warned to keep an eye out for fake notes after a reported incident in the town on Wednesday,

Read more
Yesterday, 12:30

An Ottery businesswoman has been left ‘gobsmacked’ after winning her first ever award from Taste of the West.

Read more
Yesterday, 12:30

Sidmouth is celebrating as one of its sporting sons makes his England cricket debut in the Test Match against Pakistan.

Read more

Local Weather



max temp: 21°C

min temp: 15°C

Most Read News

Useful Links

Family notices
Advertise in the paper
Submit a Story
Submit a Story
Buy Photos
Google Plus Page
Reader Travel

Family Notices 24

Read Online

Read the Sidmouth Herald e-edition E-edition

Newsletter Sign Up

Sidmouth Herald twice-weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Local business directory

Devon's trusted business finder


Show Job Lists

Find planning applications