The Auld Lammas Fair has been held in the seaside town of Ballycastle for hundreds of years and continues to attract thousands of people thanks to its truly unique atmosphere and visitor experience.
This year’s Fair will be officially launched with a spectacular seafront fireworks display organised by Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council on Sunday night (August 27th). This new addition to the programme will provide a memorable opening to the much-loved event.
Famous for its delicacies of dulse, a dried edible seaweed, and Yellowman, a sticky sweet treat, both products will be widely available among the hundreds of stalls which stretch from Castle Street right through to the seafront. The seaweed is collected from the shoreline before being dried and prepared for sale, and its unique sea salt taste is loved by many. Yellowman is a unique product of the fair, whose recipe is guarded closely by those who make it.
Traditionally held on the last Monday and Tuesday in August, the Fair’s sights and sounds make it a must-see experience. And as the build-up to the two-day experience continues to grow, the main event will be preceded by a packed weekend of activities and attractions.
The Mayor of Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council, Councillor Joan Baird OBE said: “The Auld Lammas Fair holds a very special place in the hearts of many people in Ballycastle, and it is part of the fabric of the town. Between now and the end of August I’m sure we will all hear someone say ‘I’ll see you at the Fair’. It’s a place for family and friends to catch-up, swap stories and simply enjoy the fabulous spectacle. As a Council we are committed to its on-going development, and I’m looking forward to enjoying this year’s event.”
Alongside the market stalls, streets will come alive with the sounds of musical entertainers and buskers. In Fairhill Street, there’ll be an enhanced agricultural experience, including the traditional horse trading area which the fair is renowned for. Quay Road playing fields and part of the seafront will be transformed into an amusement zone with thrill-seeking rides suitable for all the family, including the landmark vintage-style Big Wheel. There’ll be plenty of entertainment on the festival stage, with Irish dancing and traditional music.
This year, the Naturally North Coast and Glens Artisan Market will be open for business for three days at the seafront - Sunday 27th August and both fair days. It will showcase the very best of a growing local produce sector, selling a wide variety of local arts, food and craft. On Saturday 26th August, the traditional heavy horse show will be held in Sheskburn Car Park, followed by a parade through the town centre. The organisers are looking forward to welcoming entrants from near and far, who enjoy the opportunity to show their beautiful horses to a new audience.