A group of state fair and rodeo organisers will be making the long trip from the USA and Canada to attend this year’s Royal Cornwall Show.
The Royal Cornwall Agricultural Association, organisers of the Royal Cornwall Show that takes place on June 5 to 7, are looking forward to extending a warm Cornish welcome to the group of 31 North American visitors.
The visiting party are all members of the International Association of Fairs and Expositions (IAFE). They are involved in running similar shows across North America, including representatives from San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo, Nevada County Fair, California and the iconic Calgary Stampede.
State and County fairs are the American equivalent, and arguably direct descendants, of the agricultural shows that have taken place in the UK for more than two centuries.
The Royal Cornwall Show’s roots stem from the first event which was held at Truro in 1793. The same year George Washington was sworn in to his second term as the first US President and laid the cornerstone of the United States Capitol building.
Shows and fairs stateside can be significant events. One of the visitors, Jerry Hammer, is the organiser of Minnesota State Fair which attracts an annual attendance of over 1.7 million people during its 12 day run.
The group will be attending the first day of the show after spending a few days exploring Cornwall. They will also be visiting the Royal Bath & West and South of England shows as part of their tour of England.
Christopher Riddle, RCAA secretary, was delighted to accept an invitation from the IAFE to talk at its annual convention held last December in Las Vegas.
He said: “It was a real honour to be invited to talk at such a major event about the Royal Cornwall Show and the running of such shows in the UK.
"It is pleasing that the show’s long, proud history, distinctive atmosphere and reputation for quality extend far and wide.”
President of the IAFE, Jim Tucker, from Springfield, Missouri, said: "Christopher’s presentation about the history and activities of the Royal Cornwall Show were one of the highlights of the 123rd Annual IAFE Convention.
"The photos of the beautiful Royal Cornwall showground he shared have IAFE members excited and looking forward with great anticipation to visiting the 2014 Show."
Ahead of the IAFE visit Christopher concluded: “We are very much looking forward to welcoming our colleagues from the IAFE to experience Royal Cornwall’s unique atmosphere, rich Cornish identity and commitment to agricultural. I am sure it will be a memorable highlight of their tour.”
- For a comprehensive guide to this year’s show see our 20-page supplement in the centre pages of tomorrow's Packets.