The Kingdom County Fair

The Kingdom County Fair. Over the last 60+ years many shows have come and gone but Kingdom County Fair enters its 68th year still holding its place.

On an early Sunday in the month of May all roads will lead to Tralee Racecourse for the Kingdom County Fair.

The first Industrial Show (Kingdom County Fair) was held in 1948. Three venues were used.

Theatre Royal (now Fabric Nightclub) for indoor exhibits.
Old Infirmary Grounds (now Gleasures Sawmills) for outdoor stands
Town Park for show jumping.

The Tralee Development Association was the organisation responsible for starting the Industrial Show in 1948. In 1950 Macra na Feirme got involved and an Agricultural Show was incorporated into the Industrial Show resulting in the County Kerry Agricultural & Industrial Show we have today.

The Show moved to Ballymullen Barracks in 1953 and one on the promotional highlights was the parade from Princes Street to Ballymullen. In November 1953 the committee renamed its show “The Kingdom County Fair” The format of the show was set and remained the same for the next 30 years.

The 1955 show was described by The Kerryman newspaper as “ the largest and most ambitious industrial, agricultural, trade and sporting feature ever held in a provincial centre” In the 1960’s many fringe events were added to make the show a family day out.

The show continued to grow during the 70’s and then lack of space for all the events resulted in a move to the present venue, Ballybeggan Racecourse in 1982. In the 90’s the show was ranked the 5th biggest in the 32 counties according to the Irish Shows Association.

Over the last 60+ years many shows have come and gone but Kingdom County Fair enters its 68th year still holding its place as one the premier shows in Ireland.

The show now is a fully-fledged Show, with classes for Horses, Ponies, Cattle, Sheep, Goats, Kerry Bog Ponies, Carriage Driving, Dogs, Poultry, Home Produce, Industrial Exhibition, Crafts Fair, Sheep Dog Trials, a Food Fair, Tractor Balancing, Loy Digging, Old time Threshing, Irish Workhorse Demo. You name it – this Show has it all. Yes, everything for a great day out.

The fun and games for families includes bouncy castles, Go carting, quad bikes and all manner of games. Always a big hit with the kids, and many of the adults too, the dog and pet show is held and proves a big draw with plenty of visitors entering the competition on the day. For kids, big and small, the tug-of-war and Donkey Derby competitions also provide some excitement.

People who visit looking for a less frenetic way afternoon were able to visit several exhibitions. The shows and displays included olde time threshing, a vintage machinery display, copper smithing and an industrial exhibition. There was also a craft fair showcasing arts and crafts, while animal enthusiasts could check out the rare animal and fine bird display.

The Kingdom Fair was also host to a major show jumping exhibition and an open inter hunt chase. As well as all this horse fans could see Horse and Pony shows and open sheepdog trials were also held.

As always the fair played host to a major cattle and livestock competition.


Samantha Kelly
The Spa
Co. Kerry

Phone 083-1307955



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