The Agriculture Showgrounds spreads over 60 acres on the banks of the Roaring Creek at the entrance to the City Of Belmopan and are where everyone in Belize wants to be for Labor Day weekend oft one of the hottest in Belize. The local saying is if you are not there you are nowhere.
Since its establishment in 1970, the NATS has evolved to being more of a party and rumfest than a showcase for Belizean agriculture. But of recent efforts have been made to build a few new structures and divide the showgrounds into three zones. One strictly for agriculture and no alcohol consumption. Another strictly for family, kids and mechanical rides with no alcohol consumption. And another free-for-all-commercial and rumfest zone.
The attractions of the show include:
Judging of Crops and Livestock displays; Judging of Commercial and Industrial display booths; Tractor operation contest; Too many eating contests of all descriptions from the usual watermelon to who can consume the most pepper before becoming ill.
Aerial fumigation display; Selection of Miss Agriculture; Musical Entertainment by local musicians; Horse riding; Honoring of Farmers of Year, Junior, Senior and Female; Rodeo, Dog and Pony Show; Canoe Race; Motocross Show, and – hundreds of entrepreneurs smoking out the fair visitors with Barbeque fires.
Belize’s leading band the Giharry 7 (G7) from Corozal Town are the perennial featured performing band. The main stage is a nice ferro-concrete structure with a large dance floor and a well-elevated main stage for performers. All events from the main stage are broadcast live by several of the national radio and television stations.
A new trend launched in 2017 is to have Friday as the first day of the show, with free admission. Saturday, sees the show start to build up as more people arrive after working half-day Saturday. Sunday is the height of the show. Part of the showground renovations include a few benches and a kiddie park with slides and swings and picnic tables and this and other changes have helped bring the show to a new level.
The NATS Rodeo event was broadcast live for the first time on HD TV, and this included a gorgeous artist from our sister nation Guatemala on the Ranchera music segment – another first for Belizean music fans.
NATS sees an influx of mechanical rides from neighboring Guatemala including Ferris Wheels, games of fortune, and no end of food from all points of Belize, Mexico and Guatemala.
Belize National Agriculture and Trade Show 2017 Farmers Of The Year Awards
Every year awards are given out for the best farmer in Belize in various categories. This year’s winners:
Belmopan. April 4, 2017. The National Agriculture and Trade Show (NATS) Committee under the auspices of the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries, Forestry, the Environment, Sustainable Development and Immigration announces the 2017 Farmers of the Year:
1. Male Farmer of the Year – Mr. Gary Canto (Cayo District)
2. Female Farmer of the Year – Ms. Maria Flowers (Toledo District)
3. Junior Farmer of the Year – Mr. Santiago Gutierrez (Cayo District)
Article Updated 29 April 2017.