Sunday 27 May 2018

Numbers down but spirits are up


FAIR Day in Millstreet comes twice annually and the September undertaking last Sunday was welcomed by hundreds convening on the North West Cork town.

Perfect weather conditions added to the occasion and it helped to bring patrons out in big numbers

From olden days, the Fair ran over a two day event but in the more modern day-its a one day standing and its regular Sunday slot ensures the continued success of its rendezvous for many hundreds across the South West Region.

Word from experts was that the recession and price of fuel coupled with farmers availing of a rare spell of fine weather resulted on lower equine stock yet an asembly of cobs, ponies, horses to donkeys and trotters dotted their usual position in the Fair Field car park.

The Fair once upon a time provided horses for the armies of Europe and closer to home, Guinness Brewery availed of equine stock to draw their popular stout all over the country.

Equine numbers were down somewhat compared to former years yet there were transactions, a four year old piebald fetched €1,000 and a three-year-old 13.2-hands gelding collected €200 for a happy seller. Apart from the equine stock, scobie ducks and pullets were popular as were goats selling for €50-70.

Nowadays, the September Horse Fair is now more of a social outing by meeting renewing acquaintances and generating new friendships. Traffic jams confirmed the arrival into town of Fair Day patrons.

And the trappings of the modern day Horse Fair were again evident with the streets all awash with stalls of every conceivable nature.

A throng of street traders convened into the Town Square and Main Street, vendors indicating a roaring trade from the latest CDs to a mobile phone.

Boosted the weather all regailed in a carnival atmosphere as throngs of visitors viewed the diverse array of street traders on parade in addition to the equine stock, poultry, pups, kittens and goats.

Once the Fair was completed late on Sunday evening, a dedicated crew from Cork County Council operated a motorised sweeper for a speedy clean up acknowledged by traders, dwellers and visitors.