Donie Anderson and his sheep dogs and geese will return t othis year’s Arva Show. Photo: Lorraine Teevan

Arva Show back with a bang

This Sunday sees Arva Show make its eagerly awaited return after a two year lay-off.

In addition to the fantastic livestock and home craft competitions that has made it a firm favourite with crowds over the decades, this year the Show has the added attraction of the All Ireland football final!

Any other event would have found clashing with the biggest sporting occasion of the year a setback, but Arva Show has embraced the GAA showpiece and have installed a gigantic screen. After the Cusack Stand, Arva is the next best venue to catch the Galway and Kerry clash!

“We have a massive outdoor LED screen showing the game – it’s 16ft by 9ft and will have full audio,” enthuses Brían Cully, show secretary of the attraction which will surely encourage the football fans to head along.

As usual bar facilities will be available to enjoy a cool drink while cheering on the Tribesmen or Kingdom. The Sam Maguire Cup is not the only All Ireland title up for grabs this Sunday as amongst the 440 classes in cattle, ponies, horses, sheep, goats, home industries, farm and garden Arva will host two All Ireland finals: Home Preserves and Junior Crafts. In total there is over €21,000 in prize money on offer, but really, what all breeders will be hoping for is the rosette of the Supreme Champion of the Show.

That’s the good natured competitive edge to the Show – there’s also loads of fun on offer for all the family with the ever popular dog show. Entries will be taken at the dog show ring from 12pm on the day.

Birds of prey are back again with demonstrations throughout the day, as will the crowd favourite, Dodderside Sheepdogs who skilfully herd geese and sheep with seemingly military precision. The fun continues with Creature Crew’s amazing range of exotic, and maybe even a little bit dangerous, animals.

Basket weaving expert Eddie McGrath will show the basics of his wonderful craft, and if that’s not enough heritage for you, the Award winning Scoil Rince Tír Chonaill Irish Dancers will put on a fabulous performance, while local artists will provide a musical background for the whole day. Arva Show will host many more attractions including a great range of trade stands and free kids’ zone with face painting and bouncy castle. It all amounts to an amazing day’s craic.

“For the last two years we have been waiting for this show to come,” says Brían. He reports that the number of entries are up, reflecting the renewed appetite the public has for shows after the pandemic.

“We are excited to get back into it, and see crowds back on the field. We would be hoping we get good support on the day.”

Patrons can round off the night with the ever popular Show Dance in the Breffni Arms Hotel with music by the one and only Patrick Feeney.

Show Day is timed to kick off the Three Province Festival in Arva, so check out all the other great community activities going on at the southern tip of Ulster.

So who will Brían be cheering for on the big screen?

“I’ll probably edge for Galway. Kerry have enough of them won.”