One of the highlights of the Argentina calendar is the Rural Exposition or “La Rural” which takes place every year at the Buenos Aires showgrounds of the Sociedad Rural Argentina. La Rural is one of the few events which takes up the entirety of the Society’s thirty-acre home nudged between Palermo Viejo and Palermo Nuevo and facing onto the Plaza Italia. Lasting from July 24 to August 4, with admission just 13 pesos (about $4.25 or £2.30), the show usually attracts a million visitors over its thirteen days.
This year’s show was particularly timely as it began just as the months-long crisis between the agricultural sector and the Kirchner presidency came to an end with an apparent victory for the farmers. Despite the jubilant celebrations that erupted on the defeat of the Kirchners’ massive tax on farm exports, the farmers are worried they haven’t felt the last of the presidential couple’s wrath.
The show features all manner of livestock, most prominently cows, but also horses, sheep, pigs, chickens, and llamas. There are over six-hundred exhibitors at La Rural, which range from Barbour to the Banco de la Nacion, to the Catholic University of Argentina. Farm produce and agricultural machinery comprise the bulk of the exhibitors, but there are also hand-crafters and leatherworkers exhibiting their work. They even have Mass at La Rural each Sunday while the exhibition is on.
The main competitions and demonstrations take place on the central court of the showgrounds, which is flanked by beautiful art-nouveau pavilions built at the turn of the last century.
The blogger who took this photograph described the attendees as “50% gaucho, 50% Ralph Lauren”.
The nation’s gastronomic products are one of the main draws of the expo…
…and there’s even enough fun for the littlest Argentines.