THE countdown has begun to the biggest family event in the area – and we have three sets of family tickets to give away so you can be there.

The East of England Show has announced this year's dates and a packed calendar of new and exciting attractions for the region on July 6,7 and 8.

An outdoor evening concert, Friday's Ladies Day, a brand new 'green' business hub, shopping village, a programme of interactive children's events, food court and of course more than 1,000 animals on show will make this year's event unmissable.

Thousands of visitors from across the region are expected to attend the show – held at the East of England Showground in Peterborough – which in its hey day attracted 160,000 visitors.

Now in its 44th year at the Showground, the 2012 event sees an ambitious plan to recreate the countryside atmosphere but with a very modern twist.

“This is the biggest family show in the city's annual calendar – we want it to be a true celebration of the countryside, in all its many guises and one that has something for everyone,” explained Andrew Riddington, show committee chairman.

“While we continue to stage our traditional favourites including the livestock and equine shows, the prestigious Championship Dog Show and the floral and garden competitions, we also want to introduce some new themes,” added Paul Tate, interim show secretary. “We are finalising details on performers for the outdoor concert that will see live music returning to the venue on Saturday evening. On Friday we host a business hub and VIP Ladies' Day beginning with a breakfast networking event.

“In addition to this, family fun is a top priority on all three days with a multitude of interactive events lined up. It's about getting involved, taking part, really getting something out of the weekend and leaving feeling you've had a great day out and only had to travel as far as the showground to do so!”

To be in with a chance of winning one of the family tickets, worth xxx each, just answer the following question:

How many animals will be on show?

A. 1000

B. 9000

C. 15000

TEXT THP SHOW followed by your answer (A, B or C) and your name and postcode to 80058. Texts cost 50p, plus your standard network rate. Competition closes on May 2.

Usual promotion rules apply. Text customer services: 0207 633 5020.

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INFORMATION: For ticket pries and more information visit the new-look website www.eastofenglandshow.co.uk