Welly throwing, dog with the waggiest tale and lots of cake – it's show time!
Summer shows and fairs are quintessentially English affairs and at this time of year are taking place all across the Westcountry. Philip Bowern previews the Manaton Show and Fair, to be held tomorrow (sat) at Church Field.
The message on the parish of Manaton website doesn't try to hide a slight note of desperation. "Yes, there will be a show and fair in 2013 at the usual time and place" it reads. "But if you are an avid reader of the Messenger you will know that the continuation of the show and fair is not something we can take for granted."
Since show chairman David Mason wrote those words, all the vacant posts on the 10-strong show and fair committee in the Dartmoor village have been filled and the community is gearing up for a wonderful event tomorrow, just four years short of Manaton Show's centenary, in 2017.
But Mr Mason, a former parish councillor and stalwart of the village, admits that like rural communities everywhere Manaton sometimes struggles to find people willing to play a part in helping organise village events – and that includes sitting on the parish council.
"I think it's the same for all communities and all activities," he said. "You get a few people who are there for years and years and would like not to be!" His sentiments will be echoed across the region where, increasingly everything from the Boy Scouts to the village cricket team are crying out for new blood.
But if organisers are in short supply, enthusiasm for events like the show and fair in Manaton are as popular as ever. Visitors regularly make the journey from Plymouuth, Torbay and Exeter as well as Manaton itself and surrounding Dartmoor villages.
Mr Mason runs through the highlights for 2013. "In the arena we have two main attractions, Dartmoor Hawking and the Dartmoor Hill Pony Exhibition with a wild west show.
"Then we have the Sealyham Terriers, a fun dog show, a welly throwing competition, children's races and a pubs challenge with four pubs entered so far, but more welcome."
Centrepiece of the show will be the horticultural marquee where keen gardeners will be battling it out with their produce, carefully grown and tended through the year.
Harry Parsons, who will be taking his popular Sealyham Terriers to Manaton as part of his and partner Gail's long campaign to improve the fortunes of this threatened breed, said Manaton is a traditional show with all the ingredients for a great day out.