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Great Yorkshire Show

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The Great Yorkshire Show

The Yorkshire Showground, Harrogate

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The Great Yorkshire Show is a fantastic day out and an excellent visit to get a taste of Yorkshire. There is livestock of all kinds, including cattle, sheep, horses, goats, pigs, and rabbits. There are blacksmiths at work, show jumpers, fly fishing demonstrations, honey displays, sheep shearing contests and beer tents. There are stalls of all sorts, and a wealth of agricultural machinery.

Pictures from the Great Yorkshire Show

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The first GYS was held in 1838 in Fulford, near York, and moved to Leeds, Northallerton and Hull in subsequent years, before returning to York in 1842. This is the first year for which attendance figures are available; the GYS in 1842 had a paid attendance of 6044. The GYS continued to be held in various places around Yorkshire until 1950, when it was held in Malton.

Since 1951 it has been held in a purpose-built showground in Harrogate. By 1951 the attendance figure was nearly 54,000. No GYS was held in the years 1915-1920 and 1940-1948 due to World War I and World War II respectively.

The 2001 GYS was cancelled due to the outbreak of Foot and mouth disease in Britain.

The 2006 show has been the most successful so far in terms of attendance figures, with 135,111 visitors.

Displays include Dancing Diggers, Showjuming, Stalls and Falconry Displays from Sion Hill Hall

The Showground

The Great Yorkshire Showground is situated off Railway Road, on the outskirts of Harrogate. It was purchased in 1950 by the Yorkshire Agricultural Society, with the first GYS taking place at the site the following year. The site is 250 acres (101 ha) in area, and consists mainly of grassland with several permanent structures. These include

  • Main grandstand and show-ring

  • "White Rose" grandstand and show-ring

  • Housing for cattle, sheep, pigs and other livestock

  • Multi-purpose conference and exhibition halls (known as the "Yorkshire Event Centre")

  • Dining and function facilities (known as "Pavilions of Harrogate")

  • Office accommodation for the YAS, which has its headquarters at the showground

The showground facilities are used all the year round for various functions and events ranging from the Great Yorkshire Show itself to antiques fairs, trade shows, business conferences and wedding receptions. It is estimated that some 1 million people visit the showground per year.

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