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Get ready for the biggest National Agriculture and Trade Show ever!

Posted: Wednesday, April 24, 2024. 7:00 pm CST.

By Aaron Humes: The first major national gathering of 2024 is roughly 48 hours away, and this weekend all eyes turn inward to Belmopan and the National Showgrounds for the 53rd National Agriculture and Trade Show.

Official ceremonies start as per usual on Friday afternoon with the sashing of the Farmers of the Year – Ѕеnіоr Fаrmеr оf thе Yеаr Nаndу Еѕbаn Аldаnа оf thе Соrоzаl Dіѕtrісt; Fеmаlе Fаrmеr оf thе Yеаr Ѕаrаh Сhub оf thе Веlіzе Dіѕtrісt; and Јunіоr Fаrmеr оf thе Yеаr Маurа Еѕthеr Еѕсоbаr оf thе Сауо Dіѕtrісt.

We are told hotels in Belmopan and central to western Cayo are and have been booked out for the past two months – an indication of the economic stimulus this one event brings to this corner of the country.

As for what visitors can look forward to, Communications Director for the Ministry of Agriculture, Food Security and Enterprise Luis Pook told us today that the prizes for the Farmers of the Year will be given out on Saturday morning at the main stage, followed by the prizes for the school gardening competitions to San Victor Roman Catholic of Corozal at the primary level and Valley of Peace SDA Academy of Cayo at the secondary level.

A bartending competition and registration for the horse race meet on the sprint track begin at 11 a.m. with the meet competition starting at 1 in the afternoon.

A two-day dog show begins with the exhibition of ‘bully breeds’ – pitbulls and the like – on Saturday followed by others on Sunday. A kids’ rodeo takes place on Saturday and the popular main rodeo competition follows on Sunday.

Local artists will be on all day up to 10 p.m. on the main stage and at the beer garden on the Showgrounds. At 4 p.m. on Sunday, the big raffle of a Ford Ranger pick-up with free amenities takes place; tickets are still available at $50 each.

And as per normal, there will be deals, deals, deals on technology, plants, clothing, food and just about anything agriculturally or trade-related you can think of.

Pook says ‘Agric’ has become as much of a national cultural display as anything else, with ethnic foods and dances available around the grounds. And for those worried about criminal activity and the always stifling heat, there has been no crimes reported at the last two Agric shows and Police and ambulances will be present in numbers to make sure of that this time.

The entrance fee is $8 for adults and $5 for children. Parking is available on the Showgrounds for $10 while the rodeo costs $15 for adults and $10 for children to enter.

Action starts at 7 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday. See you there!


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