Dancing diggers, diving dogs and heroic horsemanship will provide some of the exciting entertainment packed into this year’s Chatsworth Country Fair taking place over three days on the Derbyshire estate set against the gleaming stonework of the newly restored house.
JCB’s ten tonne ballerinas have curtsied for the Queen; pirouetted for television and thrilled thousands all over the world. Now the team of mechanical monsters weighing over 80 tonnes will bring their elegant and light dance moves to the Grand Ring.
Also back are the Household Cavalry Musical Ride whose riders perform to music a set of complex drill movements that showcase the skill, courage, precision and discipline of horse and rider. As part of the display, the riders lie on the ground with their horses to mimic a move they would have done on the battlefield. With fanfares to start and end the display and soldiers in full ceremonial regalia, this is always a sight to behold.
As ever, there is plenty of aerial entertainment with flypasts by the Royal Air Force Battle of Britain Memorial Flight, as well as breathtaking aerobatics from the Global All-Stars and precision parachuting from The British Legion Extreme Human Flight Team. One of the country’s largest hot air balloon lifts setting off each day in the early morning and at dusk across the river Derwent and parkland will provide a majestic sight across the countryside (lifts subject to suitable weather).
Changes this year see the Fine Food Village and the Stoves Cookery Demonstration Theatre moved to a bigger location in front of the house. Always a crowd favourite is the chance to experience first-hand some of the nation’s favourite chefs whipping up delicious culinary delights. This year, the live demos are headlined by Nadiya Hussain on Friday, followed by fair stalwarts Mary Berry CBE on Saturday and Paul Hollywood on Sunday along with some of the region’s most inspirational chefs.
The space next to the river will now accommodate an expanded fly fishing offer with more opportunities to ‘have-a-go’ casting a line from the new pontoons. Also new this year is K9 Aqua Sports, featuring all kinds of aquatic canine competition. Dogs will jump from a deck into a large swimming pool and compete against each other in the long jump, high jump and the sprint for dogs. As well as being great fun to watch, there’s also the chance to put your own dog to the test with ‘have-a-go’ sessions. It is open to all dogs, of any breed, size and ability, as long as they are over 6 months old.
Event organiser Sarah Green said: “The incredible diversity of things you can see and do as a family at the show are what makes this event so special. Whether you want to sit back and be entertained, or get stuck into to all manner of activities from the gentle through to the more energetic, there are options for everyone – including the four-legged family member too!”
It will take all day to explore the showground with its host of attractions from the celebration of traditional country crafts to highland dancing, ferret racing and chance to have-a-go at dog racing; archery, clay pigeon or rifle shooting, not forgetting the shopping village.
In this celebration of the countryside, animals naturally take a starring role, whether it’s the adorable ponies taking part in the high-speed Mounted Games, the terrier race and hounds parade or the falconry display.
There is lots on offer for children too, from joining the Children’s March Past or the family fun dog show to wearing them out with the zorb balls, bungee trampoline, climbing wall, bumper cars, vintage fairground and the chance to get up close to exotic animals.
There are a number of accessible toilets around the showground as well as a attended Mobiloo, and a limited number of blue badge car parking spaces at the front of each car park.
On the gate prices for adults are £25 each day and includes parking while children 14 and under go free. There are also lots of offers available for booking in advance online including a two day ticket for just £32.
Gates open at 9am each day, with a closing ceremony at 6.30pm.
For more information on the event and to book a ticket, please visit www.chatsworth.org/countryfair