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Dublin: 4 °C Tuesday 12 November, 2019
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Hate mucky fields? See this year's Ploughing Championships on Google Street View

As many as 200,000 people are expected at this year’s competition.

Image: Laura Hutton/Photocall Ireland

OVER THE NEXT three days, thousands will descend on a field in Laois to witness the largest outdoor event in Europe.

The National Ploughing Championship will this year play host to more than 1,400 exhibitors and 300 competitors.

The championships, now in their 83rd year, could be the biggest ever, with more than 200,000 people expected to attend.

And they will have a lot of walking to do – the event spans 800 acres.

Managing director of the National Ploughing Alliance Anna May McHugh said the event brings together both the rural and urban sides of society, to become immersed in country living.

For those on the rural side, it provides a welcome break.

“Many visitors to the event take the three days out in late September to have a well-earned break from their daily working lives, particularly following one of the busiest times in the farming calendar, the harvest,” McHugh said.

Food artist Prudence Staite Tractors made of cheese - just one thing to be expect at the Ploughing Championship. Source: Sasko Lazarov/Photocall Ireland

From the Ploughing to Electric Picnic, Ireland has a fondness for hanging around mucky fields in Stradbally for several days, but it’s not for everyone.

This year’s event will be mapped out on Google Street View to give those at home a flavour of what it’s like.

The virtual tour, provided by Bank of Ireland, was mapped out yesterday, and will be available online when gates open at 8am.

McHugh said she was “delighted” to see this addition to the event.

“The NPA has a proud tradition of pioneering the use of new technology, dating back to 1931,” she said.

If you’re heading down today, details of how to get there by rail and bus are available here. Traffic and parking information, along with a site map, is here.

Read: Farmers protest outside Burger King over Irish beef prices >

More: 10 signs you grew up near a farm >

Survey: Half of bacon and pork tested in butchers’ shops not Irish >

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Nicky Ryan

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