Beach venue for first point-to-point racing at the Auld Lammas Fair

Auld Lammas TD Farm
IRELAND’S OLDEST: The Mayor of Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council Councillor Brenda Chivers is joined at Fairhill Street in Ballycastle by Melissa Lemon with her horse Marley and Shauna McFall from Naturally North Coast and Glens Artisan Market as the countdown begins to the Auld Lammas Fair, Ireland’s oldest fair, which returns with four days of festivities planned from Saturday, August 25 until Tuesday, August 28.

By Aine McAuley

POINT-to-Point horse racing will take place on Ballycastle beach as part of this year’s Auld Lammas Fair celebrations.

Set against the iconic backdrop of Fairhead, it promises to be an unforgettable spectacle with all money raised going to Riding for the Disabled, a charity which provides recreational and sporting opportunities for disabled people.

The new addition to the four-day programme of events takes place on Saturday, August 25 with 10 races planned from 6pm – 8pm.

The opening day will also include the traditional heavy horse show with Clydesdale horses parading through the town followed by a convoy of vintage vehicles which will help to paint a picture of the area’s agricultural history and heritage.

Thousands of people are expected to descend on the seaside resort to enjoy the weekend festivities and the sights and sounds which make the Auld Lammas Fair a truly unique event.

The Mayor of Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council Councillor Brenda Chivers said: “The Auld Lammas Fair is the oldest event of its kind in Ireland dating back to the 17th century.

“It holds a very special place in the social fabric of the area and continues to provide an important reason to meet up with friends, family members and neighbours. It is set to be four fabulous days in Ballycastle and I look forward to seeing you all there.”

Building on its successful introduction last year, a stunning fireworks display will light up the seafront area on Sunday evening (August 26) from 9pm.

This will be complemented by a twilight Naturally North Coast and Glens Artisan Market from 7pm and live music in the Diamond from 10pm.

The market will be the focal point of the seafront attractions throughout Sunday, Monday and Tuesday selling the very best handmade arts, crafts and food products.

It will include an enhanced street food area offering tastes from around the world in a unique al fresco dining experience.

There will also be live demonstrations from artisans at work with demonstrations including hurley making from Scullion Hurls, painting with Brege Stanley and Gerry Mullan from Aidenville Pottery while The Causeway Cookie Company will offer ‘Make and Take’ cookie decorating sessions (small fee applies).

Horse trading has been an integral part of the Auld Lammas Fair since it began over 400 years ago and this tradition will continue at Fairhill Street.

Horses and ponies will be on display with a range of agricultural themed attractions including a mobile farm. Pony rides will be facilitated by Riding for the Disabled, while a wheel-chair accessible trap will allow visitors of all abilities to take part.

The public will also have a chance to watch skilled farriers in action as they trim horses feet and make horse shoes the traditional way. Visitors can take home a horse shoe made at the Fair as a unique memento of the event.

Throughout the town, hundreds of stalls will be in place selling a range of goods, including the Fair’s well-known delicacies sweet Yellowman and salty dulse seaweed.


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