Ballycastle set for Auld Lammas Fair

Keith Douthart shows off the Auld Lammas Fair favourites dulse and Yellowman
Keith Douthart shows off the Auld Lammas Fair favourites dulse and Yellowman

Ireland’s oldest fair returns to Ballycastle on August 28 and 29 with fireworks.

The Auld Lammas Fair has been held in the seaside town for hundreds of years and continues to attract thousands of people thanks to its unique traditions including plenty of dulse and Yellowman. This year’s Fair will be officially launched with a spectacular seafront fireworks display organised by Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council on Sunday August 27. 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 must for those with a sweet tooth and is another traditional Lammas confection.

Annually held on the last Monday and Tuesday in August, the fair’s sights and sounds make it a must-see experience. The main event will be preceded by a packed weekend of activities and attractions.

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. 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 August 27 and both fair days. It will showcase the very best of local produce, selling a wide variety of art work, food and crafts. On Saturday August 26, 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. In the afternoon, look out for the vintage car and tractor parade, which will leave from Dalriada Hospital at 3.30pm.

For more information about this year’s Auld Lammas Fair go to www.visitcausewaycoastandglens.gov.uk and to keep up to date with latest details follow Causeway Coast and Glens Events on Facebook.