Auld Lammas Fair: Something new joins the old favourites

Crowds throng the streets of Ballycastle looking for bargains at the dozens of stalls
Crowds throng the streets of Ballycastle looking for bargains at the dozens of stalls

This year’s Auld Lammas Fair welcomed a new addition to its programme of events which now stretches to four days over the bank holiday weekend.

The annual Ballycastle celebration – which has its roots in horse trading – is widely regarded as the oldest event of its kind, dating back to the 17th century.

Stephen Douthart and Mayor Brenda Chilvers try some yellowman

Stephen Douthart and Mayor Brenda Chilvers try some yellowman

On Saturday evening, point-to-point horse racing in aid of Riding for the Disabled took place for the first time on Ballycastle beach to kick off the four-day festival which has attracted visitors from around the world.

For the second year running fair-goers were treated to a fireworks display on Sunday night which was accompanied by a twilight market and live music.

Around 400 stalls are present in Ballycastle for the Auld Lammas Fair which finishes tomorrow and is expected to attract around 200,000 visitors, many of them in search of Yellowman and dulse.

Shauna McFall of Naturally North Coast and Glens Artisan Market, the focal point of the seafront attractions, said: “It’s been a fantastic few days.

There was plenty of activity amongst buyers and sellers of horses

There was plenty of activity amongst buyers and sellers of horses

“The weather wasn’t that great on Sunday but people still came out.

“It’s cleared up today and the town is buzzing.

“Traders are telling me they’re hearing lots of different languages and accents. People are coming from all over which is brilliant for the town.”

Sharing a laugh at the fair in Ballycastle

Sharing a laugh at the fair in Ballycastle

Taking shelter from the elements ... umbrellas were required on Monday

Taking shelter from the elements ... umbrellas were required on Monday