Hampshire’s biggest summer spectacular, the New Forest Show, starts today with thousands of people expected to flock through the gates of New Park, Brockenhurst.
Organisers of the eagerly awaited event are promising three days of top-flight family entertainment.
New Park has been transformed into Tent City. The area surrounding the two main arenas is occupied by more than 120 marquees, housing everything needed to provide children and adults with the perfect day out.
The huge showground, likely to see at least 95,000 visitors by the end of Thursday, has been taking shape since the middle of May.
Show secretary Denis Dooley, who spent yesterday supervising the last-minute preparations, said: “It’s going really well. Online ticket sales are up eight per cent on last year, and we’ve also had one of the best set-ups ever.”
The recent drop in temperature is good news for people who hate the heat, plus the thousands of animals that take part in the show.
Mr Dooley added: “The weather is going to be perfect – not too hot and no rain.
“Animal welfare is something we take very seriously. If it was going to be as hot as it was last week we’d be concerned, but the weather is going to be ideal for people and animals alike.”
Stunt king Highlights of the Daily Echo-backed event will include daily displays by motorcycle stunt king Jamie Squibb.
The five times British freestyle motocross champion is famous for staging a series of death-defying tricks as his bike leaps between two ramps and soars 30ft into the air.
The Devon daredevil is making his third visit to the show but is promising to wow the crowds with a new collection of stunts.
Other attractions include top-class show-jumping, a heavy horse musical drive and a fully operational TV studio run by staff from BBC South.
Visitors to the studio will be able to have a go at reading the news, presenting the weather forecast and fronting an outside broadcast.
The huge marquee will also showcase the work of Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service. Exhibits include a life-sized model of a horse that is used to train personnel involved in rescuing animals.
New Park is also home to a group of scarecrows, one of which depicts a British Tommy from the First World War. Standing alongside is the all-metal Captain Rupert Rust, an officer in the Corps of Royal and Electrical and Mechanical Engineers.
Soldiers based at Bordon, Hampshire, have made the eye-catching figure using Land Rover headlight panels and aluminium bowls.