Motorists are being warned to avoid driving through Harewood tomorrow and over the weekend, if possible, as 150,000 people make their way to the Country Land and Business Association (CLA) Game Fair.
It will be the first time since 2003 that the historic estate has played host to the world’s largest outdoor countryside-themed show, next Friday, Saturday and Sunday, July 31 to August 2.
Harewood was due to welcome the annual event in 2007 but it was cancelled after torrential rain turned the site into a health and safety risk.
CLA Game Fair director Tony Wall said he was hopeful the elements would be much kinder this time around.
Some rain showers are forecast for tomorrow afternoon, followed by a cloudy weekend with sunny spells.
Around 150,000 people and 1,000 exhibitors are expected to flock to the fair, showcasing the best in sports, food, fashion and other aspects of country life, organisers estimate the event could generate more than £30m for the regional and wider rural economy.
Such is the scale of next weekend’s proceedings, the CLA has had a team getting the site ready since the start of last month.
Their tireless efforts – which has included putting up tents that would stretch for 3.5 kilometres if they were laid end to end.
Mr Wall aid he was delighted to be back at Harewood, where it definitely appears as though the fair’s absence has made its place in the area’s heart grow stronger.
“It does seem as though the people of Yorkshire are enthusiastic about our return,” he said. “We have had some very encouraging calls and messages on social media and there is real excitement in the area, given that we have been away for a long period.”
This year’s packed programme will feature everything from international gun dog competitions and falconry displays to kayaking lessons and cookery demonstrations by TV chefs such as Mike Robinson and Jose Souto.
A campsite is also available for people really wanting to make the most of the Game Fair experience. The event was first held in 1958 at Stetchworth, near the Suffolk horse-racing centre of Newmarket. Next weekend will mark its sixth visit to Harewood.
For further information and tickets about the Game Fair, visit the www.gamefair.co.uk website or ring 0845 612 2052.