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Crowd turnout gives Ag Show a strong kick-off

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The 83rd annual Agricultural Exhibition has begun at the Botanical Gardens (Photograph by Sékou Hendrickson)

The 83rd annual Agricultural Exhibition kicked off yesterday with the Minister of Public Works promising hundreds of spectacular displays.

Lieutenant-Colonel David Burch said that his ministry had plenty of time this year to prepare a strong three-day exhibition.

He added that the show received 1,880 entries, which reflected an enthusiasm that made the Ag Show “a cornerstone of our cultural calendar”.

The 83rd annual Agricultural Exhibition has begun at the Botanical Gardens (Photograph by Sékou Hendrickson)

Colonel Burch said: “This exhibition is an excellent opportunity for each of us to reconnect with our island’s roots.

“Our agricultural heritage is vital to who we are as Bermudians, and I encourage you to immerse yourselves in the learning, entertainment and fun that will be on offer.”

He added: “I invite everyone to explore, learn, and most importantly, have fun.

“This is your show, Bermuda — let’s make this Ag Show a resounding success.”

The 83rd annual Agricultural Exhibition has begun at the Botanical Gardens (Photograph by Sékou Hendrickson)

This year’s Ag Show, held in the Botanical Gardens in Paget, would be the second year it was under the charge of the Ministry of Public Works.

Colonel Burch said that the Ag Show received artwork from “students from just about every school in the country”, which filled every space in the visitor centre.

Owen Darrell, the Minister of Youth, Culture and Sport, said that he was proud to see the work that went into the Ag Show this year, despite it not being under his remit.

He said that he was always happy to see the cultural cornerstones, such as kite displays and vegetable arrangements, appear in the show.

The 83rd annual Agricultural Exhibition has begun at the Botanical Gardens (Photograph by Sékou Hendrickson)

Mr Darrell added: “There are pieces of culture that are intertwined throughout this whole event, and that is why it has been a staple of this community for years.

“It’s good to come back and recall a lot of the fond memories that I had coming to the Ag Show as a child.

“When I was growing up, my family had citrus trees in their yard, so I would always enter my fruit.

“I have fond memories of winning prizes, like how one year I got Best Citrus in Show.

“So it’s definitely something that I’ve always loved.”

Mr Darrell said that it was good for families that the Ag Show, traditionally only on the Friday, was now spread across three days.

It gave families more options to see the spectacle, he said.

Mr Darrell also pointed out that his seven-year-old son, whom he brought yesterday, was able to enjoy the show — something that, had the Ag Show been confined to one day, he would have missed because of his schedule.

The 83rd annual Agricultural Exhibition has begun at the Botanical Gardens (Photograph by Sékou Hendrickson)

The first day of the exhibition saw plenty of youngsters and their families lined up to see the artwork and farm animals.

Food stalls encompassed the main field, while singers and musicians offered live entertainment to shaded spectators.

Maya Tucker, 29, came to the exhibition with her daughter, aged 3, and family friends, all of whom had their own children.

She said that the Ag Show was a great chance to see the artwork that young children put forward — and help her own little one come up with ideas for next year’s entries.

Ms Tucker, from St George’s, added: “It’s nice to see everyone come together.

“It’s nice to see that they’ve been able to have this annually, and now I can bring my child the way I used to come.

“It’s almost a full-circle moment.”

Catherine and William Gillett brought their daughter, Grace, 3, to her first Ag Show yesterday.

Ms Gillett, 32, said that Grace was “very excited” and particularly enjoyed seeing the horses and their riders in their “cowboy outfits”.

She added that it was her and her husband’s first time returning to the Ag Show in years.

Ms Gillett said: “It feels amazing — the vibe is still the same, and it’s very cool to see it through Grace’s eyes again.”

Mr Gillett, 40, said that the Ag Show always felt like the start of spring to him, and that he viewed the exhibition as “a great Bermuda pastime”.

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Published April 19, 2024 at 7:42 am (Updated April 19, 2024 at 8:08 am)

Crowd turnout gives Ag Show a strong kick-off

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