What's on at the 2018 Kent County Show
PUBLISHED: 09:54 03 July 2018 | UPDATED: 09:54 03 July 2018
The 2018 Kent County Show will pay tribute to the fallen of the First World War as well as being the region's showcase event for farming, countryside and rural life
Performing twice a day in the main Astor Ring will be the spectacular Household Cavalry Musical Ride. Following their involvement with the Royal Wedding this year, they will showcase at the 2018 Show in magnificent full state ceremonial uniforms and demonstrate the Regiment’s precise battlefield and ceremonial manoeuvres, all carried out to music.
Supporting the Household Cavalry Musical Ride is the Kent Spitfire aerial display. The aircraft is a staple of the Kent County Show and a British icon and will perform a flypast full of stunts on each of the three days.
The Spirit of Kent, better known as The Kent Spitfire, is a MK9 TA805 with the No. 234 Squadron colours. The aircraft flies in memory of No. 131 (County of Kent) Fighter Squadron.
Making a very special appearance this year will be the iconic Every One Remembered sculpture commissioned by The Royal British Legion. The unique installation will provide a fitting tribute to the thousands of lives lost by servicemen and women from the commonwealth during the First World War.
The sculpture, designed by award-winning artist Mark Humphrey, features the Centenary Soldier standing on a plinth of limestone sourced from the Somme. Finished in bombshell brass, the statue was inspired by the artist’s own grandfather who inherited a brass bombshell, decorated by his great-grandfather in the trenches when he fought in the Somme in 1916.
Joining the Every One Remembered statue will be a community built knitted poppy display which will be hosted inside the newly located Garden Life Marquee. Show organiser the Kent County Agricultural Society is keen to include more than 10,000 poppies knitted, crocheted or crafted from felt made by the local community.
The display will also include more than 20,000 poppies already contributed to previous displays by local Council Gateways and Nucleus Arts in Rochester.
Lucy Hegarty, Show Manager, said: “We wanted to be able to commemorate 100 years since the end of the First World War with a fitting tribute to those who lost their lives.
“Having the Every One Remembered sculpture at the Show alongside the community knitted poppy display will form a beautiful centrepiece to the Garden Life marquee and an opportunity for our visitors to help raise important funds for the Royal British Legion.”
Bringing a touch of English Folk tradition to the Show will be some of the many Kent-based Morris Dancers.
The Kits Coty Morris Dancers, Boughton Monchelsea Morris team and the Bagman Hartley Morris Men will dance their way around the three-day event.
Joining them will be Vic Ellis and his roving one-man band. Covered in more than 20 musical instruments, Vic performs a large repertoire of traditional airs and sea shanties.
Love him or hate him, Titan the Robot never fails to draw a crowd and this year he will be appearing on both Saturday and Sunday. This giant robot is a real crowd pleaser (he’s worked alongside stars such as Rihanna and Will Smith) and has become an essential part of the Kent County Show over the past decade. The 2.4 metre tall robot is definitely a sight not to miss.
Music continues to play an important part of the free entertainment at the Show for 2018. The Bandstand has a line up of Kent musicians including Casablanca Steps and the FB Pocket Orchestra, who will be bringing the sound of the 1920s with their foot-tapping jazz and blues style.
Bamboozle will be rocking out to their rock and retro swing music for their first appearance at the Show.
New too is the Maidstone Tuneless Choir. Set up for those who love singing but lack the ability, practice or confidence to do so, a group of like-minded people got together and started to sing. They will be performing their uplifting repertoire of songs on Saturday at the Show.
For younger visitors, the Tractor Ted area will teach children all about farming as well as providing a fun opportunity to let off some energy on the Tractor Ted bouncy castle.
Pony Parties Kent will be providing free pony rides in the Country, Game and Canine area and there will be a traditional Punch and Judy stand in the Heritage Vintage Vehicle area.
For those visiting with their dog, Maidstone Activity Dogs will have an agility and obstacle course for your canine friend to try out, or they could have a go at the K9 Aqua’s Splash n’ Dash to see how far they can jump.
The gundog scurry by Dog Solutions is also open to visitors, as is the terrier racing – once the professionals have shown you how to do it.
The Show will continue to feature the popular range of food halls – including the not-to-be-missed Produced in Kent area – flower show, livestock displays, show jumping, antiques and vintage village and shopping stands.
New for 2018 will be the Enterprise Zone featuring 10 Kent-based companies that have been running for less than a year. Each has received a free trade stand to help them increase exposure for their company.
Products and services include hand-made textiles and placemats, silk flowers, accessories for babies, a local artist and photographer, beeswax products, an entertainment agency, plus specially designed T-shirts for breast-feeding mums and children with autism.
Show Manager, Lucy Hegarty, said: “We’ve been working hard to gather the best entertainment and trade stands available to make sure there’ll never be a dull moment at the 2018 Kent County Show. There’s certainly something for everyone to have a go at, watch and enjoy.”
Hadlow will have a significant presence and profile at the Kent County Show, as sponsor of the cattle marquee, heritage prizes and plaques. This is the fifth successive year that it has supported the heritage section and the college’s trailer, manned by its marketing team, will be on site to provide advice and guidance on land-based careers.
The college will also unveil its Vision 50 prototype: an agri-rural simulation environment designed to manage farming on a large scale.
It explores the technology needed within the sector, and examines the skills needed by the next generation of farmers and growers.
Visitors can also watch Hadlow’s students sheep-shearing and see vintage tractors restored by their Agricultural Engineering students in the heritage section.
Their equine students will be assisting with the arena parties in the Astor Ring across the three days and a student-designed garden – the winner of a competition being held across the College’s Garden Design and Horticulture courses – will feature outside the Garden Life Marquee. Stunning hanging baskets created by Hadlow’s Horticulture team will also be on display around the site.
The college will also be running a tractor-driving course for the Kent Young Farmer Clubs’ competitions, with the aim of the game being to negotiate a course of cones with added hazards to load a pallet onto the back of a trailer, all within a timeframe.
If time permits, the public will also be offered the chance to test their skills.
Find out more
To see all this and and more, visit the Kent County Show at the Kent Showground, Detling, Maidstone ME14 3JF on 6, 7, 8 July.
Tickets are currently on sale and can be bought by calling 01622 633060 or via www.kentshow.co.uk
The Kent County Show is organised by the Kent County Agricultural Society, which has been supporting education and improvement in agriculture, horticulture, forestry and related industries since its foundation in 1923. It provides grants to Kent Young Farmers Clubs and offers university scholarships to students wishing to study in related fields. The Society also provides free education on farming to young children through the Farming in the Classroom initiative and the Living Land event.