Around 200,000 people are expected to flock to Scotland’s leading outdoor show this year.
The Royal Highland Show is set to return for the 172nd time on Thursday, when it will stage its annual celebration of farming, food and countryside.
Marketed as The Greatest Show on Earth, the Ingliston-based attraction showcases prize-winning livestock, farm machinery, Scottish food and drink and renewable energy, as well as featuring music, children’s activities and show-jumping.
For 2012 the host area will be Dumfries and Galloway, from which there will be local food and activities on offer.
Costing approximately £1.5m to run, the show covers almost 100 acres of parkland and features around 5000 animals.
This is the 52nd time the four-day event will be hosted at the permanent showground at the Royal Highland Centre after being staged at various locations around the country until 1960.
The last three years have proved record-breaking for organisers the Royal Highland and Agricultural Society of Scotland (RHASS), attracting an average of 182,000 visitors, the highest number since the show was established in 1822.
Experts say the RBS-sponsored event generates around £70m for the local, regional and national economy.
In May, the Royal Highland Show was named Best Event in Scotland by industry leaders the National Outdoor Event Association, just two months after being voted the top show in the UK by readers of national farming magazine Farmers Guardian.
David Dunsmuir, show manager, who will step down from his role after 15 years following this summer’s event, says the organising team are preparing for another bumper year, despite the capital’s typically changeable weather.
He said: “Every cloud has a silver lining, the recent rain followed by two glorious days means the rings have never been in better condition - lush and green and ready to receive the finest animals.
“Advance tickets sales are on par with last year and that was a record year for advance sales - we are confident it will be an incredible show full of inspiring things for show-goers to see and do. Once inside, all attractions are free and children under 16 go free - it is an incredible value day out."
The Royal Highland Show will take place at the Royal Highland Centre, Ingliston, from June 21 to 24.