St George’s Market Belfast goes on tour…to the Auld Lammas Fair in Ballycastle ‘O’

Forty traders drawn from Northern Ireland and a few from the South who are normally found in St Georges Market between Friday to Sunday each week, are packing their wares and heading North to the one of the oldest fairs in Ireland; the Ould Lammas Fair in Ballycastle.

The eclectic mix of speciality food and craft stalls will be laden with many delights such as traditional foods from Morocco, Africa, Lebanon, Spain and Mexico along with a traditional hog roast, olives, cheese, vegetarian food, cakes, coffee and hot chocolate. Crafters with names such as A Thousand Kisses, Rock the Rainbow, Funky Hand Prints and Nifty Grify to name a few, will display goods that they have been painstakingly making over the last few weeks in special preparation for trading at the Lammas Fair. When you reach the 200ft marquee at the seafront that has been specially erected for the St Georges traders, you will also find host of hand made glass and beaded jewellery, uniquely designed candles, screen printed tea towels, original art, prints, funky clothes and even a stall selling green energy!!

If you have never been to St George’s Market in Belfast or indeed the Lammas Fair, make your way to Ballycastle this bank holiday Monday (26th) & Tue 27th of August, where you will find not only the traditional dulse and yellowman but something a bit different and maybe even a wee tune from the performing Ulster Scot - traditional musician, storyteller, poet & writer Willie Drennan from County Antrim a resident St George’s Market trader.

The Ballycastle Chamber of Commerce are also putting on a special Town Market on the Sunday before the Lammas Fair to showcase local produce and local crafters. Here you will find Bella Jo who makes delicious homemade chutneys, Thyme and Co whose breads and desserts are something else plus if you have never tried Sinead’s lip and body balms, then this is one stall not to miss. Prints, knits, hand painted stones, unique gift ideas, plants & herbs, handmade chocolate and sweets will all be on sale between 11am and 4.00pm in the seafront marquee on Sunday 26th August.

After the Town Market the seafront marquee will be transformed into Ballycastle’s answer to “Live at the Palladium”. Michael McIntyre was not available but we did manage to attract the Tyrone funny man Kevin McAleer, who it has been said has left audiences the length and breath of Ireland with sore diaphragms with his surreal rustic tales told in his slow County Tyrone drawl. The professional Irish Comedian will take to the stage at 8.30pm and entertain a 200 seated crowd. So if you haven’t bought a ticket yet there is sill time. Contact the Tourist Office at Moyle District Council 028 2076 2024. £6per ticket or 4 tickets for £20.

Margaret Craig, Moyle District Council’s Economic Development Officer said she has “been working with Belfast City Council’s Market Manager, Ian Carmichael, Sean Kerr of the St George’s Market Traders Committee, Ballycastle Chamber of Commerce Market Committee, Elaine Gaston MDC Arts Officer and MDC Technical Services Dept, who have all contributed to making what she has no doubt will be a very successful three day event for all who visit the 2012 Ould Lammas Fair”.