This year’s Royal Manx Agricultural Show starts takes place today (Friday) and on Saturday.
Police have urged visitors to follow their diversions as roadworks threaten to cause chaos on the island’s roads.
Up to 20,000 visitors are expected to flock to the showground at Knockaloe Farm, Patrick, to see the traditional farming and livestock exhibitions and competitions.
But with the main road in Foxdale closed for emergency repairs and the surrounding diversions unable to cope with heavy traffic, visitors from the south of the island have been asked to follow the show signs and proceed along the coast road via Dalby and Glen Maye.
Meanwhile, continuing roadworks at St John’s on the main Douglas to Peel road prevents direct access to Peel from Douglas, the east and north of the island. Traffic will be diverted at Ballacraine to the Hope crossroads and Patrick road.
The annual show is the largest single event in the island. Top of the bill are the Stampede Stunt Company who thrilled crowds at last year’s show.
This year, and for the first time in the Isle of Man, the Stampede team will perform their ‘Gulliver’s Carnival’ set which features horse-riding stunts and tricks in two half-hour displays on both days of the show.
Allan Jones, president of the Royal Manx Agricultural Society, says that introducing new events and entertainment is a key to the continued success of the event.
He added: ‘The show has been an important part of island life for more than 150 years but we need to move with the times.
‘It is a much-loved cornerstone of Manx community life and most people have a special memory of a day spent there – meeting friends and enjoying a leisurely day seeing the very best that Manx agriculture has to offer.
‘By introducing new events and entertainment we aim to encourage more young people to not only visit the Royal Show in August, but hopefully to become involved personally, perhaps even as exhibitors in years ahead.
‘Providing entertainment such as the Stampede Stunt Company display is only possible thanks to funding from Manx Telecom. We are therefore very grateful to them for extending their role as title sponsor until 2016, and thank the many other local businesses which also support the show.’
Manx Telecom will have its own stand featuring a ‘Sprint Cycling Challenge’ competition on both days.
Prizes of Sony wireless headsets will be presented to the fastest adult and fastest under-16s competitors who will race on stationary bikes.
The competition is being held to celebrate Mark Cavendish’s role as what the company describes as ‘Manx Telecom 4G Ambassador’, and visitors to the company’s stand will also be able to take advantage of some exclusive show offers.In addition, everyone who signs up to or renews their mobile or Ultima broadband tariff at the show, will be entered into a prize draw to win free Ultima broadband plus their mobile rental for 12 months.
Show organisers said that due to the presence of heavy livestock on Saturday, visitors to the show will not be allowed to bring dogs.