Thousands flock to Lammas Fair

TENS of thousands of visitors flocked to the Ould Lammas Fair in Ballycastle on Monday for the annual extravaganza of ‘Yellowman’ and dulse.

But the indications around midday on Monday where that the crowds were down on previous years although stallholders were hopeful showers would stay off and they would get a late afternoon surge.

The Fair continued yesterday (Tuesday) as the crowds buzzed about from stall to stall in the Diamond and along the Quay Road.

At The Diamond the Dunne/Agnew family from Ballymena, famed for their ‘secret’ Yellowman recipe, were again in place to welcome the crowds.

Nearby ‘Dr Paisley’ - or more accurately comedian John McBlain wearing his now trademark sash and black furry hat - was selling CDs and helping to put a smile on people’s faces.

At the traditional Lammas Fair dinner on Sunday night - held this year in Ballycastle Golf Club because the usual venue of the Marine Hotel has closed - there were visitors from Scotland and the Republic of Ireland.

The Ould Lammas Fair has taken place annually in Ballycastle since the seventeenth century. Celebrated on the last Monday and Tuesday in August, the Fair marks the end of summer and beginning of harvest.

The Lammas Fair traditionally attracts thousands of people from around the world, and features hundreds of stalls of craft, bric-a-brac and farm produce.

Local specialities include ‘Yellowman’, a sweet honeycomb candy, and a red seaweed known as ‘dulse’.

Two pages of pictures in this week’s Times.