Hundreds turn up for Agricultural Exhibition under sunny skies
Hundreds flocked to the Botanical Gardens yesterday for the 74th annual Agricultural Exhibition under bright sunny skies to find the grounds in immaculate condition.
The three-day event saw a record 4,000 entries this year, and by noon yesterday there were countless toddlers, students, parents and visitors alike on hand to see the many exhibits.
The event was declared open by Acting Premier Derrick Burgess, who noted the show has a legend for bringing rain on at least one day, but “not this year”.
“It seems this year we can expect beautiful sunshine and cool breezes for all three days for Bermuda's premiere community event,” he said.
The theme this year is “Agriculture — Past, Present, Future”. The Minister added: “We can all do our part to support local agriculture, grow a few vegetables of our own and enjoy the health benefits of eating more fresh produce. There is something for everyone this year, and all local talent.”
Public Works Minister Michael Weeks said: “We are hoping to revive Bermuda's farming tradition, right down to square-yard gardening.”
He described the popular event as “one of the highlights of the Bermuda calendar”.
And he asked for a “big round of applause” for Parks Department employees who “work tirelessly to make this show a success every year”.
On the theme promoting Bermuda's agriculture, Mr Weeks said: “We used to supply fresh fruits and vegetables, including our famous Bermuda onions, to cities on the east coast of America for many years.
“Our farming community is not what it once was or could be. Fewer and fewer people want to take on farming as a career and many of our valuable fields have been concreted over in the name of development.
“So in the future, through events such as the annual Agricultural Exhibition, we hope to revive our farming traditions. It is also important to support our local farmers — buy their produce which has been grown right here in our own soil.”
The first set of prizes were presented by Governor Sir Richard Gozney, followed by Troika, the first entertainment act to take centre stage in the main ring this year.
Amaral Farm took top honours for the best produce display, the Garden Club of Bermuda Award for the best cut flower and a few others.
And popular morning radio host David Lopes went home with a few trophies as well, including the Angelena Middleton Shield, the Norbart Monish Trophy for best fancy pigeon, and the David Burrows Trophy for best performing pigeon; just to name a few.
The first award to be presented for the year by the Governor went to Tony Madeiros for the best reproduction furniture in the show. He was awarded with the AS Cooper Cup. Linda Lewis secured the top prize for the best modern furniture.
The winner in the popular African Violets display went to Louisa Flenney. And young Bryana Bell walked away with the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries Cup for the best pigeon in the show in the junior division; and the top prize for the best single turkey.
There were a host of fascinating recyclable critters made by young students on display, in addition to countless traditional Bermudian kites. The critters were created from egg cartons, aluminium soda cans, apple juice bottles and milk cartons.
Some of the creations caught the eye of toddlers who were most fascinated with the SpongeBob creations, caterpillars, elephants and penguins.
Students produced countless award winning cakes, pies and pastries, as well as fancy jams and marmalades, although the ants were having a field day with the sweets by lunchtime.
This event is also a big draw for a number of charities that cater to the island's youth to raise funds. Among them this year, the Sandys Middle School Showtime Drumline, Warwick Academy PTA, Young Men's Social Club, Word of Life, the Bermuda Lawn Tennis Association, St Paul AME and the Portuguese Cultural Association.
Cotton candy will cost you $4 this year, but the atmosphere looks set to be sweet until the end of the show on Saturday. Although, in the interest of public safety, all those who pass through the gates will have their bags searched and their bodies scanned by metal detectors before admission.
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