County Shows are summer outdoor agricultural shows held in various parts of the United Kingdom. There are competitions, with prizes awarded by judges, allowing farmers and breeders to show off their cattle or crops. There are many trade stands which offer the latest farming machinery, feeds, fertilisers and other farming products. Other trade stands and activities have been added to make the shows more attractive to locals and visitors. Often there are features such as showjumping, funfairs, falconry, military displays and food exhibitions.
In the early years these shows used to be held in different locations each year, but in the 1960s the local agricultural societies started to buy land to create permanent showgrounds. The first purpose built showground was in Harrogate where the Great Yorkshire Show is held.
Many of the larger counties hold their own shows: these include the Royal County of Berkshire Show, the Cheshire Show, the Royal Cornwall Agricultural show, the Devon County Show, the Kent County Show, the Westmorland County Show, Dorset, Hampshire, Hertfordshire, Lancashire, Nottinghamshire, Staffordshire, Suffolk, Surrey and Yorkshire. Norfolk has the Royal Norfolk Show which is claimed as the largest two-day agricultural show in the UK.
On the other hand, some counties have grouped together and created such shows as: The Three Counties Show (Gloucestershire, Herefordshire and Worcestershire), The East of England Show (Cambridgeshire and Northamptonshire), the Royal Welsh Show, the Royal Highland Show, the South of England Show (Sussex), The Royal Bath and West Show (Somerset and Wiltshire) and the now-defunct Royal Show—the largest of all, which was held in Kenilworth, Warwickshire but encompassed the whole country.
Agricultural shows, and other big shows such as air shows, on grassy land, are vulnerable to continued heavy rain waterlogging the ground, forcing cancellation, or the show ending early, costing much money for the show's organizers, as people and parking cars have difficulty moving about and turn the land into a morass, and the organizers may be tempted to put straw down to make movement easier, and the owner of the land cannot accept the resulting damage.