THE showstopper that has been entertaining the crowds for 220 years is returning next week and will be bursting with exciting twists.

The Westmorland County Show is the biggest attraction in the Cumbrian agricultural calendar and will take place at its spiritual home on Thursday, September 12, at Crooklands.

Winner of the Tourism Event of the Year in the Cumbria Tourism Awards 2018, the county show is certainly not an event to miss out on with around 30,000 visitors from all corners of the county and beyond anticipated to attend the big day.

Christine Knipe, chief executive of the county agricultural society, described the day as a “one-stop show” for everyone.

“We pride ourselves on sticking to traditional agricultural routes, but every year we tweak certain elements to keep it an exciting day out for all,” she said.

“The county show is a one-stop show for everyone.Whether you’re interested in farming or a member of the general public, our traders and marquees are jammed-packed with raising awareness and sell all manner of products and services.”

The president of the NFU, Minette Batters, will be one of the special guests this year and will be on hand to talk to farmers.

Also, for the first time, the Worshipful Company of Farmers, an organisation dedicated to advancing the farming industry, will be there with the new master, Rosie Carne.

Visitors are invited to meet the foxhounds, get up close to magnificent cattle, marvel at show jumping in the main ring, discover interactive displays in the Learning for Life marquee, and cheer on competitors taking part in the traditional Cumberland and Westmorland wrestling where the winner will receive a prize pot of £2,000.

From watching demonstrations in the Forestry Arena by the Cumbria Axemen, to more than 1,000 entries in produce and crafts in the WI marquee to inspire you, the day is promised to be jammed-packed with events.

This year the sheep classes received record entries for a sixth consecutive year, along with introducing two new breeds, Southdown and Poll Dorset.

Ten years ago the show had around 600 sheep entries in 20 sections and this year the number has rocketed to 1,300 entries in 30 sections.

In even more exciting news the cattle section will have two national shows, the Highland Cattle Society, of West Scotland, and the Belted Galloway Cattle Society.

Mrs Knipe announced that the show was also delighted to host the Burke Trophy for both the dairy and beef section, a trophy which was previously contested at the Royal Show.

It is considered to be the pinnacle of awards in the cattle showing world.

Mrs Knipe said the society was honoured to be the first one-day show and the first non-royal show to present the trophy.

The Cattle Society will also be welcoming Parthenaise cattle for the first time.

The equestrian events still continue to entertain the crowds and with a twist the show will be hosting Olympia qualifiers with more than 800 light horse entries.

At the Food Theatre, Channel 4’s Sunday Brunch chef Simon Rimmer will headline the programme with MasterChef 2019 winner Irini Tzortzoglou on hand to do demonstrations too, as well as other well-known Cumbrian chefs showcasing the best of the county’s food and drink. The Food Hall is still recognised as the largest food hall event nationally in a one-day event with around 70 local food producers promoting the best of Cumbria.

The rural crafts and countryside area celebrates traditional rural crafts.

Show-goers can find some beautiful, unique handmade crafts for the home and garden while discovering new skills in making beek skeps - uptruned straw baskets under which bees form honeycomb - and managing your own orchard.

The charity North West Blood Bikes is bringing a team of volunteers to operate the popular food crèche.

And visitors are encouraged to bring their own bottles to collect water at a number of places on the showground.

Crosscrake CE Primary School, near Kendal, will also be there with a bucket collection to raise money to replace its playground as well as volunteers from Paddlers for Life who will be promoting their cause.

As part of the Westmorland County Agricultural Society’s educational remit, schools have been given free tickets with more than 2,500 children expected to attend on the day.

Finally, Mrs Knipe wanted to pay tribute to more than 300 volunteers who work in the background to make the show what it is.

She said the show was “indebted” to those who come year after year to help.

From around 5,000 competitors on the field between livestock and the WI’s crafts, and with the chance to discover the best of farming as well as shopping among hundreds of trade stands or getting involved in learning new skills, this one-day event is bursting with activities for the whole family.