THE Haddington Show will finally return this Saturday, after a three-year coronavirus-enforced absence.

Celebrating the traditions of working the land has become embedded into Scotland’s rich heritage – and agricultural shows still reflect that historic link between farming and the community.

The annual Haddington Agricultural Show is one of the oldest in Scotland, dating back to 1804.

However, the show, like many other staples of the social calendar, has been sidelined in recent years.

Alan Thomson, chairman of the United East Lothian Agricultural Society, which organises the show, was counting down to the event returning, with gates opening at East Fortune at 9am.

Now in its 218th year, the annual Haddington Show will welcome back the crowds and showcase the finest producers, breeders and vendors from East Lothian.

The show is a significant event within the area, with traditional displays of animals, produce and crafts but also offering entertainment and attractions that appeal to contemporary audiences.

East Lothian Courier: haddington show 29/6/19 champion sheep TEXEL craig connell.

Mr Thomson said: “We are delighted to see it rise out of the ground again.

“After a couple of years of Covid cancellations, it is quite exciting to be welcoming back people to East Fortune.

“It has been very strange not having the show.

“I think a lot of East Lothian’s farming community and the wider agricultural and equestrian community that come to compete have all said they are quite looking forward to it.

“They have not been able to go anywhere for two years.”

Preparations for this year’s event are well under way.

A team of volunteers were at the race circuit yesterday (Wednesday) to set up the various stalls and areas.

Mr Thomson told the Courier it had been a tough couple of years for the United East Lothian Agricultural Society.

East Lothian Courier: Haddington Show 2018

He was keen for people from throughout the county and beyond to once again show their support to the event, which is this year being sponsored by Greaves West & Ayre, as well as Rathbones.

Mr Thomson said: “It would be nice to know that the support we have always had is still there from the East Lothian community and the neighbouring counties but also given the financial strain the society has been put under.

“Having no show and no income, the revenue generated from the show is more important than ever.

“We are very lucky to have a brilliant band of loyal sponsors, who have been incredibly generous this year, and we could not do it without them.”

A timetable of events is available on the show’s new website,

Variety of entertainment

Rings open at 9am, with a variety of agricultural entertainment on offer.

A dog show will also take place in the Gilmerton Ring, with the main ring timetable showing plenty of entertaining from 9am to 6pm.

Vintage tractors will be on show from 1pm, with Haddington Pipe Band performing both at noon and 2pm.

A champion of champions will be crowned after 3.50pm, with equine vaulting taking place at 12.20pm, 2.50pm and 4.10pm.

There will also be a wide variety of trade stands setting up shop.

Mr Thomson encouraged people to head along, particularly those who had never been to the show before.

Many may think the show is all about prize turnips and tractors but that is far from the truth.

He said: “I would say there is a lot more to do than would meet the eye.

“You can easily fill your day with all the attractions we have on the showground.

“It really is a one-stop shop and there is something for everybody.”

Getting to the showground is easy as well, with a shuttle bus from Dunbar and Haddington, and there is plenty of parking.

The first bus leaves from outside Haddington Corn Exchange at 10am, with further pick-up points on Market Street and Dunbar Road.

Meanwhile, a shuttle bus will also leave from outside the Bear and Bull in Dunbar at the same time, with stops at West Barns Inn and in East Linton.

Tickets are £12 for over-18s, children and OAPs are £7, and a family ticket of two adults and two children is £30. Under-fives get in free of charge.

Ticket prices, show times and details can be found at

Follow the show on Facebook and Twitter for the latest updates.