Ireland’s oldest fair which has been held without interruption for nearly four centuries even during War Time until now has been cancelled due to the Coronavirus pandemic.
The Ould Lammas Fair is traditionally held every year on the last Monday and Tuesday of August which sees thousands lining the streets of the seaside town of Ballycastle.
The event, which marks the end of summer and the start of the harvest season includes amusements, fun fair, street entertainment along with more than 400 market stalls selling anything from handmade art, crafts. local produce to the favourites of Yellowman, honeycomb and dulse.
Commenting on the cancellation Independent Councillor William McCandless said: “We are all aware that our Council area depends on and welcomes all manner of tourists: – day trippers, weekend breaks, annual holidays and visitors who come not just because of the natural beauty but also to enjoy the many events which our area hosts and is famed for.
“With the cancellation of events such as North West 200, Supercup NI and the latest casualty to be the Ould Lammas Fair, we appreciate the severe blow this is to our local tourist economy and the severe disappointment to visitors and local residents.
“However, we all appreciate in these abnormal times that it is impossible to let events like this proceed no matter how disappointing it is and we look forward to bigger and better events in 2021.
“The coronavirus has impacted upon sporting events, performances by musical artistes and played havoc with holiday plans but I would appeal to all, life is more important and to continue to support the NHS by maintaining our social distancing, observe lockdown restrictions and help keep all safe. Let’s work through this without fear. Marie Curie the famous physicist said:
‘Nothing in life is to be feared, it is only to be understood, now is the time to understand more, so that we may fear less’.“