Big Ag show crowds expected

Organisers of Wednesday’s Agricultural Show are urging visitors to carpool to the event in anticipation of large crowds and parking headaches.

Up to 10,000 people are expected to flock to the Stacey Watler Agriculture Pavilion in Lower Valley for the 42nd annual show, which will showcase the best of Cayman’s farmers, plant nurseries, backyard gardeners and traditional artisans.

Kicking off at 8am, the day will feature a beautiful baby competition, a talent show, an old-time fashion show and a tug-of-war competition. The event will run into the evening, finishing with a gospel concert.

‘Not only is it an opportunity for camaraderie, but it’s also a chance for families to spend wholesome time together while learning a few gardening tips, and enjoying some of the more traditional aspects of our Islands,’ said Leader of Government Business and Agriculture Minister Kurt Tibbetts.

A key theme for the Department of Agriculture this year will be promoting the opportunities everyone in Cayman has to grow their own produce in this time of economic gloom.

‘No matter where you live, whether it is a condo, a home, or you have access to agricultural land, you can find a way to grow food for yourself,’ said Brian Crichlow, the DoA’s marketing coordinator. ‘We will be featuring a lot of things like container gardens; grow boxes – different ideas and techniques to help people grow their own food, no matter where they live.’

One lucky attendee will walk away from the event with a $20,000 cash prize from the Agriculture Society raffle. Funds from the raffle go toward agricultural scholarships for aspiring farmers in Cayman. A yard package from A.L Thompson and a five day luxury holiday in Jamaica are also up for grabs.

Regular vendors from the weekly Market at the Ground farmers market will be on hand during the day selling locally grown produce, seafood, meat and local crafts.

Other interactive seminars will be presented by the Orchid Society, the Health Services Authority and the Cayman National Cultural Foundation. These will be held under the pavilion, which has been rearranged this year to offer an additional rest area for residents.

Mr. Crichlow said there will be plenty for youngsters to do with a permanent children’s area, feature a maze, to be unveiled at the site Wednesday.

Cayman’s top farmers will be recognised for their achievements throughout the day with awards for the best farmer and crop farmer; the best livestock exhibitors; the best district stalls and the best school grow box submissions.

General admission tickets to the event are $10 for adults and $5 for children. Infants enter free.