THE historical Mounthill Fair will take place on Saturday, October 7 at Crosshill Road, Gleno, Larne, by kind permission of the Mackey Family, Ballynure.
The Fair is steeped in history and dates back some 300 years, being one of the oldest Fairs in East Antrim it was granted a charter from King James.
Up until a few years ago the Fair took place at Mounthill, on the site of the Old Fair Hill in the townland of Ballyrickardbeg. Local historians will recall that the Fair was originally for horses, whereby traders came from all over Ireland and Scotland to buy foals and in the early days dealers would drive the horses from the Fair hill down to Larne Harbour for shipping to Stranraer.
Sadly the Fair faded somewhat after World War 11 and by the late 1950s had almost petered out, but with the intuition of the late John Clifford and support from the local community the Fair was revived and continues to be an important annual event on the East Antrim calendar.
The Fair Society organising committee has drawn up an exciting schedule of events, with many new attractions for 2006, to include Ulster Scots musicians, Irish dancing, line dancing, story telling and static displays from public sector agencies.
The schedule includes classes for sheep, agricultural horses, coloured horses/ponies, Shetland ponies, donkeys, driving, in hand and ridden horses and ponies and mounted pony games. Clear round jumping will take place in the afternoon and is organised by Mrs Jean Penny and Mr Chris Pedlow with jumps kindly made available to the Fair Society by Marian Rea.
Showing classes will commence at 11.00am with entries taken on the field from 10.00am. Entry fees are Horse/Pony classes 5, Sheep 3 and Clear Round Jumping 2.
A full range of stallholders will be present displaying an array of articles. Fees from ftallholders wishing to take up trade stand space at the 2006 fair are: large trade stand 20; car and trailer 15; car boot 10. All fees from trade standholders and vendors will be payable on entrance to the fair site. Gleno Young Farmers Club will take care of catering for judges and stewards.
Proceeds from this years Mounthill Fair, which will also include fees from stall holders and car parking will be donated to the Society's nominated charity, Action Cancer's 'Big Bus' appeal.
The organising committee would like to thank the Fairs many sponsors and extend their appreciation to Mr Jim Martin for commentating at the 2006 Fair.
Anyone requiring further information on the scheduled events or stallholders requiring details of space availability should contact the Secretary Mrs Marie Bell 028 9337 8850 or Chairman Mr John Cross 028 9332 2687.