Have you heard of National Ploughing Championships? It is an agricultural exhibition in Ireland, which takes place every year in September. I think, at this point, it is the biggest National Ploughing Championship in the world, and definitely is one of the largest agricultural events in the whole Europe. It takes place for 2 days, and in 2017 there were 291 500 people attending. Impressive isn’t it? I know it is mostly of interest for those who are involved in the agriculture, but many Irish families just chose this opportunity to spend day out and show machinery to kids, watch contest and have fun, since no matter what weather is like, Ploughing Championship is always buzzing with great atmosphere and cheerful spirit. You also get opportunity to meet celebrities there and also people, who travelled from as far as New Zealand, to take part in this event.
Food for though:
- Kids can easily get lost in the crowd, hold hands, use safety harness and do not take your eyes of them for a minute. Wear bright clothes just in case, I know it does not always work, but if you (or your child) wear, lets say, yellow jacket you will see each other easier in the crowd, compared to wearing ordinary black. Discuss safety with older kids several times before trip, not only not to wander around, but what to do, if they find themselves lost. Also discuss kidnapping situation (not to walk away with strangers, not to take sweets from strangers, stay with parents at all times and scream as loud as possible NO! if someone tries to pull them away unseen by parents (You can even try this shout at home or in the back yard to make sure kid knows how loud they can do it), I am saying those things just in case (better safe than sorry) and if you have other safety tips I missed do not hesitate to share them in comments.
- Have mobile phones with you and fully charged.
- Mind your pockets, handbags, money. Large events sometimes attract thieves. Even though, not every thief, will be willing to pay entrance fee, but you never know, so better be careful with your belongings.
- Use carrier or sling for the baby, (if it is possible) the way crowd was at the time we attended, no way one could push pram through it. (in the rainy weather wheels may get stuck in muddy areas too)
- Wear wellies (or at least comfortable, waterproof footwear).
- If you are flying in from abroad, book tickets in advance, because knowing how big this event is, plane ticket prices will go up, same goes for hotel prices near event location.
- Have snacks and water with you. Some places will have long queue, so you will not want to waste time waiting for water bottle for impatient toddler.
- Get good sleep night before, it will be long trip and long day, and little ones may get tired and grumpy (been there- our trip with 3 years old was pure nightmare, if I knew, he was gonna cry and throw tantrums so much, I would have stayed at home with him, it was not worth it)
- If you know your child gets tired quickly and gets anxious in the big crowds, maybe this event is not for him/her. (For example my son would rather stay with granny than attend such a big event). Same rule applies to adults, if you feel uncomfortable in large crowds, I doubt you could fully enjoy Ploughing Championship. But if you are chatty and love people and crowds, you will have fantastic time.
So are you attending Ploughing Championship 2018? More info here
18th-20th of September 2018, Screggan, Tullamore, County Offaly.
See you there.