All the fun of the Fair in Strabane!

Strabane Fair events kick off on Friday evening 25th June with the launch of the 24hr Artahon which will happen in ASDA’s 24 hour Store with artists from both Strabane and Donegal taking part which will culminate in an exhibition in the Alley Gallery from 2pm on Saturday. While running alongside the launch at the Alley Theatre at 8pm will be the finale of Sounds like Summer bands competition  to decide who will be this year’s winner from amongst stiff competition from throughout the region.

On Saturday the Farmer’s market will operate for the full day from the Canal Basin providing the back drop for the days events and in  the Alley Courtyard where they will be joined mid day by other stall holders to create our own unique food festival. Specialised food markets and catering demonstrations from professional chefs from Oysters ,Mambo Jax Catering and  Masala will take place along side  demonstrations from the Women’s Institute showing traditional fayre .Strabane Ethnic Community Association will also showcase international foods at the Alley court yard during the afternoon’s event.

At 1.30 the Carnival parade will take to the streets with community groups and samba bands from all over the district joining local bands and groups to create a carnival atmosphere. Glenside Training Centre and Lifford Recabcare adults have been working on new carnival pieces with help from SECA and students from the Holycross  Collage arts department. If you feel you would like to help us to showcase their work please contact Council on 02871382204.

Workshops have been on going in the various schools and the children will be in the parade with Streetwise, plus artists and performers from multicultural traditions which will add a new dimension to the show. All the children have been enthusiastic in practising their new skills in music or dance routes, so please come along and show your support.

In keeping with this year’s theme Strabane Fair Day, Past and Present on Saturday 26th of June our events at the Canal Basin will reflect this time period throughout  the day. Our stage performers, Craic, Dixie Kings and Knotty Pine  will plays songs reflecting the various music eras. This will be intermingled with performances from our young people who under the initiative delivered as part of the Peace Cultural, Heritage and Identity programme,  have learnt about multi- cultural dance and music, costumes. They will perform along side professional artists from Arts Eska and Gathering Rhymes at front  of stage while else where our young people will perform short street dramas reflecting Strabane history of hiring Fairs. Puddlealley drama group will also perform a short showcase during the afternoon.

Keith Clarke and Chef Colin McMenamin from Oysters, Bell Hogg Woman’s Instutite, Daljeet Gurum Chair person SECA and Bobby Rao Development Officer SECA

Indeed no Fair would be complete without the sideshows entertainment and Strabane will have professional street performers and buskers to entertain the crowds in the Castle street area alongside the stall holders and retailers. In the Canal basin, we will have stalls, bouncy entertainment, olde time games, archery and at 3pm the Bark to Basic Dog Show.

Given the various workshops that have taken place in the district over the past months funded under the Peace III North West Cluster Special European Union Programme, there will be more fringe events happening into the evening for people to join. Artists exhibition and demonstration in the Alley Gallery  will take place from 2pm

The evening performance in the theatre is an culmination of story gathering around the history of the area in the Donemana, Newtownstewart, Castlederg and Strabane which will be staged at the Alley theatre at 7.30pm 26th June 2010 and supported by readings from Wilson Burgess on reflections of past times..

Finally at 8pm, Music 4Uth local young bands who are working under the guidance of Terry McCafferty will perform on our outdoor stage in the Alley Courtyard. Also new music created from Garage music workshops undertaken by the Nerve Centre tutor Martin McGill in Castlederg will be showcased there.

A weekend of activities to suit all ages and tastes!