Well, it’s coming up to that time of year again when anyone, that is anyone gets into their wellies and off they go to the national ploughing championships. This year it will be held in Ratheniska, Co. Laois and so not a million miles away from us Offaly people. Most won’t even go near the actual ploughing championships, but will be heading there to see some tractors and bulls and prize winning sheep or chickens or goats even. There’ll be crowds around the burger vans, with their chips falling off the paper plates as they hold onto their skirts to keep them from flying up and revealing all. You won’t be able to get near any of the food stands with the angry mob queuing up for their free samples. Some of us thrive in this environment and those type of people will be spotted with the slight grin on their faces walking around with a “divil-me-care” attitude, lapping up the atmosphere with gusto. Others, are not so fortunate as to be at ease in company and you’ll see them with creased foreheads from too much frowning, traipsing after the person they are with or you might get a glimpse of them hiding behind a whiskey in the bar area or back in their cars waiting for the missus to finish spending all the money that they don’t have.
There will something for everyone. Do you think you might be in with a chance to win the “Best Dressed Lady” award or maybe you are so blinded by love for your child that you think she might be in with a chance to get “Bonny Baby 2013”. Perhaps, you have come with your dog to enter into the “doggy” competition.
And if you’re not into competitions or tractors or pigs you can always just hang out in the leader tent T.315. That’s where we’ll be, we meaning the “Experience Offaly” food craft and tourism “bunch”. We’ll be there, the whole friggin’ bunch of us, stamping our wellies on the floor in the hope of getting a bit of feeling back into our numbed feet, rubbing our hands together for the same purpose of keeping out the cold, attending the throngs of hopeful individuals who are sure they will be the winners of our wonderful competition. Now, I am not being sarcastic here. I really do mean every word when I say that this is the mother of all prizes. Details are below, just look for yourself!! And if you do come and register with us you will get one of our material bags with the promotional tag on it advertising ourselves. You might be happy to get that bag in order to put all those leaflets you’ve managed to pick up here and there unbeknownst to yourself as you scratch your head wondering where all this bloody advertising rubbish can be kept until you get home and throw it all in the bin anyway. But you’ll keep our bag because it might come in handy when you’re going to Dunnes someday and then you’ll look at the tag and say “Ah, there’s Heartworks. I just might give them a ring. I have a wedding present to buy” See you all there. Don’t forget your wellies and your lipstick
Come visit the Experience Offaly stand
within the LEADER village (Stand 315, Row T)
at this year’s National Ploughing Championships
and be in with a chance to win an
Experience Offaly overnight stay.
The prize includes an overnight stay including spa treatments for two
at the Clara House Holistic Spa, a guided walking tour of
Lough Boora Parklands and dinner at the award winning Sirocco’s Italian Restaurant.
The winner will also receive a hamper of Offaly Delicious and Offaly Crafty products.
The Experience Offaly stand will offer visitors to the ploughing an opportunity
to find out more about what Offaly has to offer from a craft, food and tourism perspective.
Craft makers including Bramber Studio, Heartworks, Karl Gill Woodworking
and Linda Kelly Design will be on site to tell you about their hand crafted pieces.
Food producers including Clanwood Farm, De Mad Food Company,
O’Gorman’s Cottage Condiments and The Wild Irish Foragers & Preservers will be happy
to offer you advice on how to make best use of their produce.
Members of the Offaly Tourism Network will be glad to tell you more about
what Offaly has to offer families, outdoor enthusiasts, culture vultures,