With more than 10,000 visitors expected to pass through the Grounds at Lower Valley on Wednesday, 13 February, the Cayman Islands Agricultural Show is one of the territory’s largest community events.
Now in it’s 46th year, the Agricultural Show was originally conceived to promote agriculture for farmers and showcase the benefits of backyard farming. Over the years, the show has grown and now encompasses more than just agriculture – it’s a become a celebration of many aspects of Caymanian culture, with entertainment, food and competitions.
Celebrated on Ash Wednesday each year, it’s a great way for children and adults to enjoy the mid-week holiday.
Buy local, eat local
Several local farmers will be taking part in the show, exhibiting their farm fresh produce as well as their livestock. This is a chance to meet and talk to the people who work the land and grow the food we eat and find out more about farm life. Check out the juicy local tomatoes, yams, pumpkin, spring onions, herbs, calalloo and eggs. And taste the difference, too – there will be plenty available for purchase.
Visitors will also be able to admire the cows, goats, chickens and other livestock that are being raised on island in natural, free range ways.
Farmers will compete for prizes in the best livestock and best crop exhibition categories.
The Agricultural Show has come to encompass a lot more than farming, so that even those with little interest in where their food comes from will find plenty to keep them entertained.
Local artists and artisans will also be showing off their skills and demonstrating their crafts. Prizes will also be awarded for the best arts and crafts exhibitors.
There will be a host of competitions and demonstrations for members of the public, including a youth cook off, an equestrian show and rodeo, district demonstrations and Customs canine demonstrations.
Local musicians such as Impulse, JR Douglas and Swanky Kitchen Band will be performing.
Children also will be intrigued by pony rides, a petting zoo, dedicated play areas, the “Beautiful Baby” contest and a whole lot of prizes and surprises.
Food, food, food
It doesn’t get much more farm to table than the Agricultural Show. Vendors will be delighting taste buds all round when they prepare typical Cayman dishes, using local meats, fish and produce. This will be the place to sample the greatest range of local delicacies, organisers say. There will be stewed turtle, fish prepared in a variety of ways, conch, whelks, local beef, coconut dinners, fish and salt beef rundowns.
In addition to the traditional, there will be modern snacks such as fried chicken, hamburgers, hot dogs, and jerk pork and chicken.
Chance to win
Each year, attendees have the chance to win a $20,000 cash prize. Raffle tickets are $25 apiece, and include general admission or, if you prefer to forgo your chances of a winning such a sum, adults can pay $10 for entry only tickets, and children pay just $5. The raffle will be drawn at 6pm.
Gates open at 8am and there will be a activities, competitions, demonstrations and music throughout the day. The show closes at 6pm. There is ample parking on site.