Anticipation is building for this year’s Point Agricultural Show on Saturday, July 14 – and community wind farm charity Point and Sandwick Trust have doubled their sponsorship of the event.
The Point Show, held for the first time in 2003, can attract up to 2,000 visitors and locals who now live away on the mainland are known to come home for it.
It is held at Aird School Showground, with gates opening at 1pm. The official opening – by broadcaster Anna Macleod this year – takes place at 1.30pm. Gate entry prices are £4 for adults, £2 for children and £10 for a family ticket of two adults and two children.
There are around 12 competition sections, including the community award for best village – sponsored by the Stornoway Trust – and many categories for livestock, fruit and vegetables, baking, arts and crafts. The horse show has returned this year and there’s a performance by the Lewis and Harris Pipe Band immediately after the show opens.
There’s plenty for the children too, including bouncy castles and face painting, and there is also a welly decorating competition this time, as well as some popular games including ‘hook a duck’ and ‘splat the rat’ and a Nerf gun range, run by Pursuit Hebrides.
Teas, coffees and cakes will be provided, plus a barbecue, offering burgers and hot dogs.
Point Agricultural Society run the show and its chair, Grace Smith, said the £1000 sponsorship from Point and Sandwick Trust had made a massive difference. An increase from £500 support in previous years, it was “fantastic” in helping them meet their expenses.
These include cover from St Andrew’s First Aid and insurance – both several hundred pounds – and the hire of a minibus to ferry visitors from their cars, which can be parked as far away as the Sheshader turn-off, to the showground.
Grace said all the arrangements were “coming along” and praised the many volunteers, including those who turn up on the day to manage stalls and man the gates – as “without them we couldn’t put on the show”.
The ladies of Women for Mission put on the tea and cakes in the community centre and Grace said: “They really are the best bakers so we’re very lucky.”
All exhibits, including the wellies, have to be in by 10am on show day, in plenty of time for judging. “It’s really the only community event in Point in the year,” said Grace. “People come home for it and on a nice day it’s a lovely day out.”
Of course, the one element the organisers cannot control is the weather – and last year they suffered a blow when one of their brand new tents, bought with Lottery funding, blew down two days beforehand. “What a mess it was,” said Grace. “The framework was all bent and broken. It was totally ruined.”
Grace said: “The last few years we’ve had pretty bad weather and it has affected the numbers but on a good sunny day we’d get up to 2,000 people, so hopefully we’ll be back to that. Last year was pretty bad but we still had over 1,000 people come.”
Donald John MacSween, Point and Sandwick Trust general manager, said they were “pleased to announce” the increase in sponsorship to £1,000 per annum.
“The new deal recognises the importance of the show to people in Point and Sandwick and visitors from outwith the area. The show organisers put in a power of work throughout the year to ensure that the event continues to be a resounding success. We look forward to an enjoyable day out with something to appeal to all ages.