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01 Oct 2022

Everything you need to know about The Ploughing Championships 2022

National Ploughing Association answers all your frequently asked questions

Everything you need to know about The Ploughing Championships 2022

Anna May McHugh, NPA Managing Director, with models at the launch of this year's Championships in Ratheniska. Pic: Jeff Harey

Can I bring my dog?
 Guide dogs are welcome at the National Ploughing Championships, however the event attracts approximately 80,000 people per day and owing to the large number of crowds we request patrons not to bring family pets. 

 NPA does not permit patrons to keep animals in vehicles in car parks due to the dangers of heat exhaustion.

How much are the tickets for the event?
 10% booking fee applies to tickets purchased over the phone. No booking fee for tickets purchased online.
 Adults - €25 (10% discount apply on pre-orders of 1O+ online only). Tickets are day specific.
 Senior Citizens - €20 (ID may be required at the gate) Tickets are day specific.
 Secondary School Students - €20 (rate of €15 applies on pre-orders of 10+ when purchased through group bookings only).

Tickets are day specific.
 Family Ticket (2 Adults & 2 Secondary School Students only) - €80. Tickets are day specific.
 College Students - €25 (10% discount apply on pre-orders of 1O+ online only). Ticket can be used on any one day of the event. Tickets are day specific.
 Children under 12 go free once accompanied by an adult.

How do I purchase tickets for the Event?
 Fast Track tickets can be purchased online at www.npa.ie or over the phone on 059 86 25125.
 10% booking fee applies to tickets purchased over the phone. No booking fee for tickets purchased online.
 Fast Track Tickets can be purchased online up to and including the days of the event.
 NPA strongly advise pre-booking tickets online this year as we cannot guarantee tickets will be for sale at the gate - this will depend on Covid-19 capacity restrictions if any at that time.
 NB Tickets must be scanned at entry to event. NPA strongly advise visitors to PRINT YOUR TICKET and bring it with you or take a SCREENSHOT of your ticket barcode on your phone for scanning to avoid delays at gate.

When will I receive my Fast Track tickets?
 Fast Track tickets will be received directly to your email upon purchase.
 NB Tickets must be scanned at entry to event. NPA strongly advise visitors to PRINT YOUR TICKET and bring it with you or take a SCREENSHOT of your ticket barcode on your phone for scanning to avoid delays at gate.

Is my Fast Track ticket valid for any day?
 All Tickets are day specific i.e. you must select the day you wish to attend when purchasing ticket.
 Tickets are valid for one day only.

What about Group Bookings?
 Pre-paid Group bookings of 10+ Adult tickets are eligible for a 10% discount online only.
 Pre-paid Secondary School Student Group bookings of 10+ are eligible for student discount of €15 per student ticket. Tickets are day specific. Schools can make their Group bookings online www.npa.ie

When does it all kick off?
 Exhibition Arena Opens: 9.00 - 18.00
 Ploughing Competitions: 10.30 - 14.30
 Entertainment Programme: 10.00 - 18.00
Fashion Shows: 11.30/13.30/15.30

Is the event suitable for children?
 The National Ploughing Championships is a child friendly event. Children under 12 go free when accompanied by an adult.
 The event offers picnic areas, a playground, baby changing & feeding facilities, Funfair and bandstand entertainment to cater for our younger visitors.
 In addition to these facilities we have over 1,700 exhibitors, many of which offer their own entertainment on their stands for children of all ages so there is sure to be something for everyone in the family.
 FBD ‘Keeping You Safe’ wristbands also serve as a reassurance to anyone bringing children to the event. These wristbands are handed-out at all entrances to the event allowing for a contact phone number to be written on the band in case the wearer wanders off amidst the crowd.

How do I get to the event?
 The NPA work closely in conjunction with An Garda Siochana to develop a detailed event Traffic Plan that will ensure you get to the event safely and as efficiently as possible. We advise all attendees driving to the event to read this traffic plan before departure and follow the route specified from your direction.
 Please follow directional signage only on close arrival to the event as road closures and alternative routes are often put in place specifically for event purposes.
 A copy of the event Traffic Plan will be available for download from the NPA homepage on www.npa.ie closer to the event.

How do I get to the nearest car park?
 We have a large number of car parks located in close proximity to the Trade Arena to accommodate traffic coming from all parts of the country. You will be directed into the nearest available car park to the event on your arrival and car parking stewards will direct you to a space.

Are there Electric Car charging facilities in car parks?
 There will not be electric car charging facilities in the car parks for the event as these areas are only temporary car parks for the duration of the event. See https://chargemap.com for exact locations as to where the closest charging points are to the event.

Is there bicycle parking?
 There will be an area for bicycle parking in a dedicated car park on either side of the event site. Please follow direction signage for bicycle parking on arrival to event.

Is there hard-core parking?
 There is no hard-core parking at the event, all car parks are either stubble or grass fields so wear suitable footwear!
 In the event of wet weather conditions there will be stewards on hand should you require assistance.

How much is it to park at the event?
 Parking at the National Ploughing Championships is free of charge!

What if I can’t find my car park when leaving the event?
 We know with an event this size it can be quite daunting to remember where you parked your car on departure so we have put provisions in place to assist you as best we can.

Every car park is colour coded in our Traffic Plan depending on the route you are travelling. For example traffic travelling on the brown route will be directed into the brown car park on arrival, and so on. All routes to the event are colour coded with corresponding colour coded car parks.

 Furthermore every car park has a colour specific blimp which can be seen from the trade arena to direct you back to your car park, and colour coded signage on entrance/exit to the car parks. Please take note of the image on the sign when you enter/ leave the car park, for e.g. the sign could be a blue bear.
 There are numerous maps throughout the site displaying the direction of each car park.
 Finally, if you still cannot locate your car, all our wristbands are numbered so our stewards will be able to assist you in locating your car by identifying the number on your wristband.

Can I avail of public transport to the event?
 Bus Eireann will be operating a Shuttle Bus service from the Portlaoise, Portarlington and Athy Train Stations to the event. There will be a fee for this service. Fees and operating times of this shuttle bus service are confirmed by Bus Eireann closer to the event.
 Depending on event venue, there may also be a Park and Ride Shuttle Bus which would be subject to a small fee, price tbc. Details on location pick-up/drop would be available closer to the event.
 We recommend checking local media for coach companies bringing tours to the event.
 Taxis dropping off patrons will be facilitated as close to the car parks as is possible once there is no interference with the flow of traffic. There is no designated Taxi pick up area in or around the event site.

Do I have to queue to enter the event?
 The National Ploughing Championships attracts an average of 80,000 people per day so we advise patrons to take their time arriving and allow for some queuing time when attending the event.
 Pre-paid Fast Track ticket holders will gain entry to the event quicker. Gates open to the public at 9am but for patrons arriving early there will be tea/coffee units and toilet facilities available in the car parks.

What provisions are in place for Disabled Access?
 Disabled car parking is available in dedicated car parks for the event. Please note the official Government issued Disabled Parking Permit must be clearly displayed in front windscreen of vehicle on approach to site in order for stewards to direct you into the correct car park.
 All of the internal roadways throughout the Trade Arena are double tracked to allow for disabled access movement around the site.
 Disabled toilets are available in every toilet block and in every Disabled Car Park. We also have two Accessoloo Units on site which have an electric hoist, adult-sized changing bench, toilet and wash basin to cater for all our visitors needs.

Can I leave & re-enter the event during the day?
 If you need to leave the event at some stage and intend on returning please ask the gate stewards to stamp your hand on departure. Without this hand stamp you will not regain access to the event free of charge.

Where can I find the Programme of Events?
 We will have a jam packed schedule of events. Please check www.npa.ie regularly for updates to our programme of events. There will also be programme of events schedule signage at our bandstand and throughout the site.

What type of stands exhibit at the event?
 We have over 1,700 exhibitors at the event featuring exhibits in; Energy, Forestry, Livestock, Machinery, Construction, Agri Business, Auto Arena, House and Home, Food and Beverage, Health and Wellness, Lifestyle and Tourism, Information Technology, Business and Education.

What are some of the best bits to look for at the event?
Machinery Exhibition, Livestock Exhibition, Food Fayre, Celebrity Chefs, Cookery/Craft Demonstrations, Auto Arena, Fashion Shows, Tented Trade Village, Innovation Arena, National Brown Bread Baking Competition, Sheep Shearing, Ploughing Competitions, Live Radio & TV, Pony Games, Hunt Chase, Treshing, Vintage Display, Funfair, Loy Digging, Meggars Competition and much much more.

What is the NPA & Enterprise Ireland Innovation Arena?
 The NPA & Enterprise Ireland Innovation Arena puts inventions from Ireland on show to the world and helps establish their success by introducing them to the marketplace and facilitating networks that will help them take steps towards achieving commercial success. We’ve seen a number of individuals and companies launch new products and innovations at the NPA Innovation Arena, going on to achieve global success.
 The NPA & Enterprise Ireland Innovation Arena is the ideal place to demonstrate ground-breaking developments, whether they are back-yard inventions or professional innovations, to thousands of Innovation Arena visitors.
 With a prize fund worth over €70,000 in business mentoring, advertising & cash, the NPA & Enterprise Ireland Innovation Arena promises to take centre stage at Ploughing. See www.innovationarena.ie for more information.

Where can I see the Brown Bread Baking Competition?
 The National Brown Bread Baking Competition is a huge attraction at the event and is run in conjunction with ICA and Aldi.
 The Semi-finals of the competition take place in the Aldi marquee on the Tue & Wed of the event with the final taking place on Thursday. You can watch the finalists bake their bread live in the marquee over the 3 days as they compete for a prize fund worth over €15,000.

What about food and beverages?
 We have 3 catering blocks on site accommodating in excess of 40 individual catering stands so there is something to suit all our visitor’s needs.
 We also have catering units in every car park to serve patrons arriving early to the event.

What Visitor Amenities are provided at the event?
We have over 100 acres of Trade Exhibition, Tracked trade arena to all stands, Free Maps and Stand Listings, Medical Centre & First Aid, Baby Changing and Feeding Facilities, Food Courts / Bars, Media Hub, Toilets, Playground, Picnic Areas, Public Address, Campervan Park, Public Transport, Information Booths, Grandstand Seating and Live Traffic Reports.

Where are the toilets located?
 There are toilet facilities located in each of our 3 main catering blocks and additionally throughout the Trade Arena. There is a combination of portable toilets, wheelchair accessible portable loos and mains toilets provided. We will have 2 Accessoloo units at the event which have an electric hoist, adult-sized changing bench, toilet and wash basin, catering for all our visitors needs. See the Trade Exhibition Map when published for exact locations.

Are there baby changing and feeding facilities?
 Yes, Mothers Union provides baby changing and feeding facilities in a dedicated marquee at the event.
See our Trade Exhibition Map when published for stand location on site.

Can my Club/Charity fundraise at the event or in the car parks?
 There is no fundraising allowed on-site or in the event car parks, with the exception of a maximum number of 10 charities who have received written permission by NPA to do so.

When are the results of Ploughing Competitions announced each day?
 The Ploughing Competitions results are officially announced each day of the event on the Bandstand at 6pm and will be available to view afterwards on the side of the NPA HQ stand. See the Trade Exhibition Map when published for NPA HQ location on site.

What if I get lost in the Trade Arena?
 You will be provided with a free map on entrance to the event, and we have a number of Information Kiosks and Information Personnel dispersed throughout the site that will be happy to assist you should you become lost.
 The NPA HQ will also have a large green blimp flying from its marquee which can be seen throughout the site. It is always a good idea to arrange a meeting point like NPA HQ should you become separated from your group. If you are lost, or have lost someone and are concerned please come into NPA HQ at any point during the event and we will have a team on hand to assist.

What if I become unwell during the event?
 Should you feel unwell at the event we have a number of First Aid posts dispersed throughout the trade arena and ploughing competition fields, trained medical staff on mobile First Aid foot patrol and ambulance services on site at all times.
 We also have a purpose built Medical Centre on site, fully staffed with a doctor, nurses and paramedics should you require further assistance.
 If you need medical assistance at any stage of the event please ask one of our Information Personnel for directions to the nearest First Aid post or see map for exact location of Medical Centre.

How do I enquire about exhibiting at the event?
 If you are interested in exhibiting at the event you must complete our online questionnaire and submit (questionnaire can be found on our website www.npa.ie).
 Please note the questionnaire is not a booking for space but rather an expression of interest. Once fully completed and submitted it will go for review by our exhibition team. Once reviewed, we will revert back to you with further information (reviewing usually takes 5-10 days and can be longer at busier times).
 If approved, you will be sent access to Trade Prospectus and given the opportunity to book exhibition space.
 NPA will determine if company is suitable for indoor or outdoor exhibition (there are certain restrictions on outdoor exhibition).

Can I camp out at the event over night?
 You are not permitted to stay in the Trade Arena overnight as the site is in shutdown for repair works.
 The National Ploughing Association provide an un-serviced site (no water or electricity supply) dedicated to Campervan / Caravan parking only for patrons of the National Ploughing Championships which will be accessible from Sunday 18th Sept. to Friday 23rd Sept. 2022.
 To guarantee space parking bays MUST be pre-booked online @ www.npa.ie . Flat rate for parking bay is €60 which entitles you to stay up to 5 nights. There is no rate per night available.
 The Campervan / Caravan parking area will be in close proximity to the event site and will have portaloo facilities only - you are advised to bring your own water, etc.
 Park At Your Own Risk – the official NPA Campervan Site is for your convenience and you park at your own risk. The National Ploughing Association Company Ltd. by Guarantee assumes NO responsibility for personal injury, loss or damage to vehicles/campervans/caravans parked in the NPC dedicated Campervan Site.
 Fire Safety is of the utmost importance. Download the Caravan Fire Safety leaflet on www.npa.ie

What about accommodation?
 If you live locally to the event and have spare rooms or a property to rent please contact NPA about possibly listing your private accommodation on our website.
 Alternatively, if you are looking to browse accommodation to rent please contact the local tourist office to the event for more information.

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