Fairs In England

Of course, Ireland isn’t the only place to hold fairs.

September

Abbots Bromley Horn Dance

This is held on Wakes Monday – the first Monday after the first Sunday after 4th September.

On Wakes Monday, the world famous Abbots Bromley Horn Dance is held.

Egremont Crab Fair

This is held in Cumbria, England in September. It includes the Gurning World championships for the worst face!

For more information, click here.

 

YarnFolkWoolFest 2018 Whitehead County Antrim

Whitehead in County Antrim will host Yarnfolk’s second wool festival on Saturday 4th August 2018.

Lighthouse Yarns is running the festival over 6 venues in Whitehead so this will be a great day’s outing for wool and fibre enthusiasts as well as family and friends.  There will be free demonstrations, interactive workshops for all ages (tickets available),  and beautiful handcrafted quality yarns and products to view and on sale. This event is bigger and better than last year.

It wil be held across six venues in Whitehead’s town centre from 10 am – 5pm.

These are:
Methodist Church Hall, Edward Road
Lighthouse Yarns, Edward Road
Church of Ireland Parochial Hall, Edward Road
Whitehead Community Centre, Balmoral Avenue
Victorianna Flower Shop, Balmoral Avenue
Lourdes Pastoral Care Centre, Victoria Avenue

To see the full information and purchase tickets, check out the YarnFolkWoolFestNI site.

Map For Whitehead

Lighthouse Yarns Whitehead

Auld Lammas Fair In Ballycastle

The Auld Lammas Fair is Ireland’s oldest fair, held in Ballycastle, County Antrim at the end of August every year. In 2018, it will run for 3 days on Sunday 26th (Artisan Fair), and Monday 27th August and Tuesday 28th August (Trading and Artisan Fair). Read more here.

The fair is famous for dulse and yellow man, commemorated in the song called “The Old Lammas Fair”, played below by John Watt, or sung below by Ruby Murray.

What’s Lammas?

Lammas is the time of harvest celebrations. It is celebrated at different times in different places but is always a harvest type festival.

What’s dulse?

Dulse is seaweed, dried and sold in small bags for eating as a snack. It’s very healthy, with vitamins and minerals. While most people now eat it just as a snack, like you might do with a bag of crisps, dulse is actually a nutritious vegetable and can be used in soups and chowders. Many greengrocers sell dulse, so you don’t have to wait for the Lammas Fair to try it. You can also buy it online, try your favorite online store.

What’s yellowman?

Yellowman is a sweet to end all sweets. It’s rather like honeycomb, brittle and very sweet, made with golden syrup and sugar and puffed up with bicarbonate of soda and vinegar. You can find a recipe for yellowman here.

Auld Lammas Fair – A video showing scenes from the fair itself and the famous music played probably on a mandolin.

Ruby Murray singing the famous song

If you want to go to Ballycastle, there is a Google Map below showing its location.

Popular Irish Fairs

Fairs and outdoor markets, once a common feature of Irish cities and towns, continue to play an important role in the commercial life of the Irish. Fair Day became an integral part of city life ever since 1204 when a 9-day Fair was granted to the city of Waterford by King John which was to be held on Lammas Day and for 8 days thereafter. Fairs and markets have always brought people from different social backgrounds together and play an important part in the development of rural as well as urban society. People from the rural areas bring their produce to the city and city folk come to the fairs and markets to buy from them.

Irish Fairs

The Irish Game & County Fair

After being held at Birr Castle, Co Offaly for ten very successful years, the fair is moving on the 24th August 2019 to a larger location in the Irish Midlands. Simply known as The Fair, it is one of two Great Game Fairs of Ireland. Its partner fair, the Irish Game Fair and Country Lifestyle Festival is held at Shanes Castle and both fairs deliver events with a wide family appeal for those living in the Irish countryside or those who love to visit and play there.

Tattersalls International Horse Trials & Country Fair at Ratoath, Co Meath

You don’t have to be interested in all things equestrian to enjoy this 3-day fair, though it does draw large crowds of horse lovers. This family-friendly event, one of the biggest of its kind, combines equestrian events with a classic Irish county fair. International and home eventers compete in show-jumping, dressage, and cross country events where occasional Olympic-standard work can be seen. A variety of novelty dog shows, Victorian-style funfair rides, and vintage swing boats creates a carnival atmosphere for anyone looking for a relaxed weekend of entertainment. The Tatts has long been a big tourist drawcard but is gaining popularity with the home crowd as well.

Antique and Vintage Fairs

Hundreds of antique and vintage fairs are held year round all over the country. At these typical Irish fairs, you can enjoy bargain hunting, discover a ‘rare find’ for your collection, shop for vintage fashion and jewelry, and source attractive but inexpensive pieces for your home.

The National Country Fair

This great outdoors fair boasts a mix of equestrian, fishing, gundog, and shooting events that form an ode to Irish Country living. Visitors can enjoy an antique fair, a crafts fair featuring local artists, and an artisan food festival featuring local food producers.

This is where you can satisfy your curiosity about clay pigeon shooting, archery, and ferret racing. Animal lovers will enjoy the pet exhibits and everyone loves the flying bird shows. Enjoy live music in a traditional beer tent and sample a taste of the famous Borris lamb. The National Fair is always brimful of amusements like air shows, vintage vehicles, an Irish Strongman Challenge, and more than 200 trade stalls where you can shop until you drop.

A Bit of Irish Fair History

Ballybricken Fair

Situated in the most historic and oldest part of Waterford City, Balllybricken was once the center of the livestock and bacon curing industry. At one time there were 5 bacon factories in the area, but today there are none. The Ballybricken fair was a colorful and busy event that brought the countryside to the city once a month. Farmers walked their horses and cattle from ten miles away and drove their poultry and pigs in a cart to arrive at the market at 5 am.
Pigs and sheep were assembled in Mayor’s Walk, cattle in the Ballybricken Square, donkeys on Yellow Road, and horses in Wellington Street. Live turkeys were sold at Christmas time in Jail Street. People would trade livestock and browse until the fair closed at 3.30 pm and gardeners would pick up the animal droppings afterward for use as fertilizer. After the fair closed, council workers would come to hose down the square with jets of water.
The most important fair in Ballybricken was the May Fair, also known as the hiring fair, where employment seekers came to be hired by farmers for a season. Another popular fair was the Onion Fair or October Fair where onion stalls were set up right down to Patrick Street.

These fairs turned Ballybricken into a thriving part of Waterford City, but they have all now become just a nostalgic remembrance.

Belfast Markets Area – St George’s Market


Ross [CC BY-SA 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

In Belfast, the Markets area holds two markets each week, one on Friday, the other on Saturday. The Friday market tends to sell more goods, the Saturday market is more of a Farmers’ market. On Saturday, there is often live music and on either day, you can get something to eat and drink, whether in your hand or sit down. You can wander round looking at hand-produced items, antiques, collectibles and souvenirs, as well as fresh food items you may not get elsewhere.