6 October 2020
Once there, everyone enters the site through a wooden triumphal arch, which is decorated with pine branches, paper flowers and ribbons, herdsman tools and a garland-covered welcome sign. The cattle are tied onto long posts according to specified categories. A judging panel of experienced farmers then begins its work of evaluating the animals based on their appearance and performance, ranking them and then presenting them in the correct order. Lining up the animals can last into the afternoon, especially because the differences can be minute in categories such as the best breeding cows, thus making the judges’ job more difficult.
A crown of paper flowers is tied around the horns of the loveliest animals. In the evening, after the animals are back home in their stalls, the farmers and their families come together at a local pub for the assessment and award ceremony, which is followed by traditional festivities with singing and dancing.
The cantonal cattle show takes place in early October at the Brauereiplatz in Appenzell. To the delight of the many onlookers lining the streets, some farmers put on a show in traditional alpine herdsman style – meaning with all the bells and whistles of an alpine cattle procession. Others are less elaborate in bringing their cleaned and groomed animals to the square.