Ag Show aims to rake in the crowds

Preparations are well under way for the 40th Cayman Islands Agricultural Show next month.

According to organisers, nearly 8,000 visitors flocked to the event last year, a feat they hope to replicate.

Hosted by the CI Agricultural Society on 21 February with support from the Ministry and the Department of Agriculture, organisers are expecting their largest show yet and have tweaked the format accordingly.

Revisions include plans to extend the show’s closing time, introducing a free family scavenger hunt and a raffle for a .33 acre plot on the Brac.

‘We were looking for an extra special grand prize to celebrate our 40th anniversary,’ said President of the Cayman Islands Agricultural Society Errol Watler.

‘The plot at Skipper’s Paradise on the Bluff has a purchase price of $21,500 and is high and dry,’ he said.

The choice of first prize – a move away from the Ford Explorers of recent years – is said to be a way of promoting the society’s green credentials while benefiting the Sister Islands.

‘We wanted to get away from giving away cars for a while given the volume of congestion in Grand Cayman,’ Mr. Watler remarked.

Second prize is $1,500 in cash and third prize is return air ticket to Miami with $500 in spending money.

The society also hopes to sign up gospel acts to perform at the show in the Stacy Watler Agricultural Pavilion Grounds in Lower Valley.

Animal husbandry, stalls

A popular fixture on the local calendar, the event showcases Cayman’s farmers, growers and producers.

Livestock competitions for poultry, pigs, cattle and goats, and the equestrian events, will be taking place throughout the day and are mainstays of the show.

Mr. Watler advised that around 75 different stalls had signed up including ones selling food and drink, fruit and vegetables, plant nursery items and general merchandise.

Alongside these will be arts and crafts stalls with thatch work, paintings, jewellery, weaving, pottery and crochet items. Homemade food stuffs like jams, pickles and cakes will also be available.

The range of children’s activities is being finalised and is likely to include traditional craft elements.

With an eye to 2008 and beyond, organisers are also discussing the feasibility of running the show over two days in future years.

”We are seriously thinking about expanding the show as several of us feel that so much work for just the one day,’ Mr. Watler explained.

Raffle tickets, priced $30, are available at the Agricultural Department and at Funky Tangs.

All proceeds will be used to fund the society’s programmes. For further details and to enquire about livestock entry forms, call the Agricultural Department on 947-3090.

Details about the Brac Agricultural Show will be announced soon.