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Local country shows are very much a part of life in Cumbria and most of them are organised by local people. Those involved always welcome visitors. These shows are always good value and provide a real insight into the working of the countryside. If you’re looking for an attraction that combines the great outdoors with a look at local farming life of Cumbria, then the many agricultural and country shows that take place in the county are pretty hard to beat. The showing and judging of livestock is at the heart of almost all of the shows – the Westmorland Show and the Cumberland Show are the two biggest agricultural events – but there are many other attractions as well. Mintfest You might see fell running or Cumberland and Westmorland wrestling, show jumping, farm machinery, trade stands, light and heavy horses, fell ponies and working dogs. Some of the shows have food tents selling Cumbrian produce and there are often competitions for floral art, handicrafts, flowers, stick making, baking and cake making. While most of the rural shows take place between June and September, festivals are happening all year-round. Film or food, words or walking, music or mountaineering. Whatever your interest, there seems to be a festival celebrating it. Look our for are the Wordsworth Trust’s Arts and Book Festival in Grasmere at the end of January; Words by the Water Literature Festival at Keswick in March; The Keswick Film Festival; The Keswick Beer Festival. Cumberland Show Beer festivals happen most months in the Lake District. Keep an eye out for one in Ulverston, a fun loving town which has traditionally hosted numerous other festivals (flag festival, walking festival, charter festival, lantern festival and Dickensian festival). There’s also the Ulverston International Music Festival and on a much wider scale the Lake District Summer Music Festival, held at various locations from the end of July into August. Muncaster Castle in the Western Lake District has a Festival of Fools at the end of May while the start of June sees the Holker Garden Festival at Holker Hall, Cark-in-Cartmel, a celebration of gardens, countryside and food. The Kendal Mountain Film Festival has been one of the peaks of the late autumn calendar for some years. For more information on local events contact the Windermere Information Centre on 015394 46499 or [email protected]