One of the biggest bashes in Sheffield’s outdoor events calendar will be returning this bank holiday with a cycling theme to mark the upcoming Tour de France.
A taste of the countryside will be coming to the city once again when the 11th Highland Fling Country Fair arrives at Graves Park on Monday 5 May 2014.
Entertainment at this year’s free family-friendly event will see more than 80 perfectly groomed, hair-dried cattle from as far afield as Norfolk and Barnard Castle take centre stage once again alongside racing ferrets, a fun dog show, donkey rides and the Sheffield Steel Peloton Workshop, part of the Yorkshire Festival celebrating the Tour de France.
Organisers of the workshop will be encouraging people of all ages to get on their bikes, explore Sheffield’s parks and neighbouring countryside while keeping fit. There will also be an opportunity to find out the craft, design and engineering skills needed to build a bike and to get involved in interactive bike-themed science activities.
Creative youngsters can also get involved in bike decorating workshops and cyclists can bring along their bikes for a full safety check or to simply get their chains oiled or brakes repaired.
Paul Billington, head of culture and environment at Sheffield City Council, said: “The Highland Fling is always such a popular family event in Sheffield with lots of exciting things for people of all ages to get involved in, from learning more about sheep shearing to racing ferrets and riding giant tractors.
“It’s a great idea to incorporate a cycling themed workshop into this year’s fair too and I hope it really inspires people to get on their bikes and see Sheffield’s parks and green spaces in all their glory in the run up to the Tour de France.”
The Highland Cattle Society Show will be judged by Tom Thompson from the Woodneuk Fold in Barrhead, Glasgow.
Activities will also include a funfair, a pets corner, art and crafts, trade stalls, a miniature steam railway, tractors, inflatable slides and a bar for grown-ups.
The event is being supported by the Friends of Graves Park and sponsors NFU, Scaffolding company Charlie Dent, local vet Chris Green, ironmonger William Eyres, Argo Foods and contractors Burden’s.
Peter Fletcher, Sheffield City Council’s farm manager, set up the event more than a decade ago and still helps organise the activities on offer.
He said: “We hope to attract about 10,000 people to this year’s Highland Fling, which gets bigger and better every year. It’s become a really popular event in Sheffield because it offers such simple, family-friendly activities which are a bit different from the norm. It brings a flavour of the great outdoors and the countryside to the city and youngsters in particular can see a range of animals and agricultural machinery they may have never come across before.
“Some of the Highland cattle will have travelled 100 miles to compete in the competitions and are really top of their class.
“Toddlers in particular love the pets corner, donkey rides and sitting behind the wheel of the big tractors. We’ve even got racing ferrets from Prospect Ferret Rescue in Huddersfield coming along for the first time, which should be fun. There are also some great opportunities to get involved in building or decorating bikes and learning more about the science behind cycling.”