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Page last updated at 12:46 GMT, Tuesday, 1 September 2009 13:46 UK
Dorset County Show

It is a long running Dorset tradition, and this year's Dorset County Show is the 168th.

It is a showcase for local produce, livestock and farmers, and this year's theme is 'Love Your Veg'.

A survey commissioned by the show's organisers revealed that many adults have at least one vegetable they say they "hate".

In response, visitors can watch cookery demonstrations to inspire use of those "unpopular" vegetables.

Local Masterchef champion Mat Follas will be offering new ideas for recipes involving those "least popular" vegetables, with broad beans chosen by people as the least favourite.

It is one of many displays and demonstrations over the family-focussed weekend.

Taking part in a demonstration
The show features local businesses, but also many sport demonstrations

Show Secretary Sam MacKenzie-Green (who actually "quite likes" broad beans) says the show is important for Dorset people and the economy:

"I think it is important to showcase local businesses, local food producers and agriculture, and also the Dorset lifestyle, which is what we do at the show.

"It is also an opportunity for Dorset businesses to see what their competitors are doing, and get some local competition going."

Up to 55,000 visitors

The Dorset County Show features 450 trade stands from local businesses and organisations, and up to 55,000 visitors are expected over the show's two days.

Other displays over the weekend include the Monster Trucks; an eight foot high android called Titan the Robot; and gymnast team The Kangaroos.

Also in the line up is Hug a Hound where children can cuddle a dog; Scurry racing, which involves two ponies pulling a cart around an obstacle course and the show's grand finale on Sunday, the Grand Parade of Champions.

The 125 acre showground is put together by ten committees, which each oversee an area of the show's organisation.

They start planning the show immediately after the end of the previous year's show.

Piglets suckle their mother
Show Secretary Sam says children love seeing farmyard animals up close

"It's very enjoyable"

Secretary Sam has been involved for the past eight years, and, during the show, even lives on site in a caravan.

She said: "No matter how early I get up, there's always something to do before I've even had a cup of tea, but I don't mind - it's a very enjoyable weekend."

One hundred and fifteen committee members are supported by 150 voluntary stewards who offer practical help in preparing the showground for the event, and running the show.

The team is allowed on to the showground two and half weeks before it begins, to set up and get the ground ready.

Sam said: "The voluntary helpers are essential, they work for free and we couldn't do the show without them. They are the backbone really, and we're hugely grateful to them."

And for Sam, despite the long days and hard work, the Dorset County Show is still something she really enjoys being part of.

She said: "I love to see everyone enjoy themselves, old and young.

"It's a great family event."

More information on the Dorset County Show website

Dorset County Show, Saturday 5 and Sunday 6 September 2009.

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