THE deluge the day before failed to dampen spirits as thousands filed through the turnstiles at the South Kerry Ploughing Championships and Harvest Show in Fossa recently.

Granted, we stepped out in everything from hiking and biker boots to wellies, but it only added to the sense of occasion.

So established is the event now that one visitor from Killorglin compared it to Ireland’s oldest festival, Puck Fair, and with a glint in his eye added that the only way it could be improved on for him would be through the addition of an onsite bar.

Despite the torrential downpour on Saturday, dozens of volunteers rallied to the cause to ensure the venue at Fleming’s Farm in Fossa, was ready for the influx. “The volunteers drove it over the line and we are so hugely thankful to them,” said Tom Leslie, chairman, Killarney Valley Classic and Vintage Club, which organises the event.

The big winners on the day, of course, were the four charities to benefit – the Irish Kidney Association, Down Syndrome Kerry, the Irish Pilgrimage Trust and the Kerry-Cork Health Link Bus – and since its inception, the event has now raised in excess of €100,000 for local organisations.

The show was officially opened by Killorglin student Jack Nagle, who made his mark at the Young Scientists Exhibition with his invention of a lifesaving tractor safety lock which has won several awards.

A big attraction this year was that the event incorporated the National Rally of the Irish Vintage Society, and this year’s show also featured a round of the Irish Tractor Pulling Championships which was a great spectacle.

The winner of the most stylish woman was Susan Moriarty-O’Callaghan from Kilcummin who caught the eye of celebrity judges Gavin O’Leary, who was the best dressed man at the Killarney Races in July, entertainer Jack Patrick Healy and gentleman farmer Sean O’Donoghue.

Above: Ava, Leah, Hugh, Luke and Dairmaid O’Malley enjoying the South Kerry Ploughing Championships and Harvest Show.