The Kent County Show is fast approaching, and this year’s festival promises to be more jam-packed than ever.
Returning for the first time since 2019, the show is one of the biggest events in the Kent calendar - so here’s everything you need to know about it.
This year, the Kent County Show will once again be held at the Kent Showground in Detling, near Maidstone. The gates are open from 8.30am each day, and tickets can be purchased on the gate.
Tickets cost £22 for adults, and under 14s can enter for free. There will be plenty of car parking available, and Nu-Venture is also providing a shuttle bus service to and from Maidstone East Station and Kings Street from 9am to 6.15pm each day.
When you arrive at the show, there will be countless things to see and do - but don’t worry, we’re here to help you break it all down.
First up is the animals. The show is a huge celebration of Kent’s farming and agriculture industry and brings with it lots of furry friends.
Stroll through the Sheep Lines, Cattle and Goat Marquees where you can meet the animals in their pens, and stop off at the Equine Village for horse riding demonstrations and pony rides with ponies that have lots of experience meeting children.
You can also watch the showjumping classes in the Astor Ring for a thrilling display of speed and agility, or catch the K9 Aqua Sport’s dock jumping competition where your dog can compete in a swimming contest and splash around in the water.
There will be a chance to watch the evening milking in the Goat Area towards the end of the day, watch the expert sheep shearing demonstrations and visit the on-site dairy to see the cow milking competitions.
Don’t forget to make time for the majestic birds of prey shows, which will see these excellent hunters swoop and soar across the sky in a stunning live display at the Countryside Ring and Woodland Ring daily.
For the first time, this year's Kent County Show will welcome the Hogg Show, the UK’s only travelling pig stage show. Tom Hogg’s marvellous pigs will perform a hilarious and spectacular act each day near the Livestock Area.
There will also be pig agility competitions in the Countryside, Game and Canine Ring across the weekend, and also a fun-filled sheep show from Ginger Sutton and the team, which has proved a favourite in past years.
Even mythical creatures are making an appearance at this year’s show. Duke, the ‘real-life’ unicorn with his coloured man and tail, will be in the Equine Village for a cuddle and a magical photo opportunity on all three days.
There will be a chance to see almost all of the show’s animals in Saturday’s Grand Parade of Livestock in the Astor Ring, or at the Kent Young Farmers’ Clubs Area, where young people take part in their own show classes with animals such as cattle, rabbits and guinea pigs.
Once you’ve met all of the show’s wonderful animals, it might be time to catch some of the other entertainment on offer.
Each day of the Kent County Show will bring a new line up of fabulous live music, including the Rock Choir, Mama’s Funkin’ Skunks, the Lucky 13’s, Knights of Nevada, the Ruby Sisterz and Heart of Kent Show Choir, to name just a few.
The phenomenal British Army Band Colchester will be opening and closing the show on Saturday, and also concluding the event on Sunday, so you have a couple of opportunities to watch them.
Enjoy a touch of nostalgia with the show’s traditional fairground, which has everything from chair-oplanes to the big ferris wheel or, for an extra dose of adrenaline, try your hand at clay pigeon shooting or watch the daring tricks and stunts from the Kent Youth Trials Club.
You can hop on the beautifully crafted miniature railway and journey through the woods, where you can also take part in traditional woodland activities such as trug making, wattle hurdle-making and chair-making, plus learn about the art of horse-drawn timber extraction.
For transport enthusiasts, the miniature railway is just the tip of the iceberg. You can also wander through the Heritage Section to see a plethora of vintage and heritage vehicles on display and watch the Parade of Vintage Vehicles on all three days to see them in motion.
Kids can also get in on the action with A-Class Driving School, which will allow children to jump inside a specially adapted car and steer their way around a course designed for young drivers.
Those with green fingers can visit the Garden Life Area, which will be home to floral competitions, flower displays and educational sessions with the Kent Beekeeper’s Association.
Taking part in all the different activities is sure to work up an appetite, so you might want to pencil in a break at the outdoor food market. You’ll find lots of great eats here, including burgers, fish and chips, Greek souvlaki, toasties and salads.
You can also visit produce stands and buy fresh strawberries, Kentish cheese and sweet treats to take home, and stop off to find local delights at the Produced in Kent and Eden Crafts areas.
Finally, if you’re in the mood for some retail therapy, Love Fairs will be returning to the show to host the Antiques and Vintage Village with more than 50 of their finest dealers. Discover hidden gems and collectables, all while listening to some retro tunes from live artists.
If vintage isn’t your thing, the show has more than 300 trade stands for you to peruse, from Kentish wine to garden furniture, so you’re sure to find something you love from a range of local and independent businesses.
With so much to see, do and enjoy throughout the weekend, this year’s Kent County Show is set to come back bigger and better than ever before.
The Kent County Show takes place from Friday, July 8 to Sunday, July 10.