The Ballyshannon Agricultural Show has a long history of providing competition and entertainment for the community and still continues to the present day. The show was a very important social occasion and which ranked only second to the Harvest Fair in its importance to the farming and townsfolk alike. The competitions in the cattle, sheep horses and agricultural classes helped to improve standards of production and great pride was also evident in the winners of home baking, craft and flower competitions. A show dance was and still is the highlight of Agricultural Show which is held on the night of the Show.
The Ballyshannon Agricultural Show can trace its roots back to 1895 when the first show took place. In 1896 the Ballyshannon Show had a total of 220 entries which was an increase from the first year of the show. The 1986 show took place in two venues the produce was displayed in the market square (Market yard) and in the afternoon the horse jumping, tug-of-war, driving competitions and other events in the Rock field. Some of the local winners in different categories at the Ballyshannon Show in 1896 were Edward Vaughan of Dunmuckrum won best bull, C.J. Tredennick won best dairy cow, George Moore of Ballinacarrick won best heifer, Thomas J. Atkinson won best heifer, Patterson Morrow of the Abbey won best bull, James Cassidy of Coolcholly won best dairy cow, Robert Myles won best heifer, Dan Campbell of Kileen won best bull, John Anderson of Ballyshannon won best heifer, T. Gallagher of West Port won best heifer, Peter McCafferty of Cashelard won best bull, Michael Gillespie of the Abbey won best heifer, Hugh Mulrine of Market Street won best cow, Daniel Kerrigan of Dunmuckrum won best heifer, Ms. Bridget Durneen of Higginstown won best ewes. The show jumping took place in an enclosed field close to the old Workhouse and had three classes with a total prize fund of £32 which was quite a sum in 1896.
During the early 1950s & 1960s the Ballyshannon Agricultural Show took place in the grounds of Danby House. During this period many International Horseriders competed at the prestigious show jumping events which were part of the show at Danby. In 1954 the Atkinson Family of Cavangarden presented the Ballyshannon Show with a cup which was to be awarded each year to the exhibitor with the highest number points overall in the cattle section this cup is still presented to this day. One of the many highlight of Agricultural Show during this period was the show dance which was held in the Marquee.
In the early 90s the Ballyshannon Agricultural Show was reinstated the show was held on the grounds of the local mart it was decided that the show would run class’s in cattle, sheep, horses, ponies, home baking, craft and flowers. In 2005 it was decided to relocate the show to its current location on lands belonging to the Tunney Family just off the main Ballyshannon to Donegal Town road.