Crab Fair is back for its 749th year!

By Rachael Grealish

WHAT is thought to be the world’s oldest fair is back for it’s 749th year this month.

Crab Fair makes its return to Egremont on the weekend of September 16 and 17 and promises to have an array of exciting entertainment and the annual World Gurning Championship.

After a year of planning the committee has pulled together a jam-packed schedule starting before Crab Fair weekend itself.

To have the Fair the subjects must choose their queen and the Crab Fair Queen selection disco takes place on Friday September 9th.

The main event will kick off with the Friday night entertainment on September 16.

The committee has secured an array of entertainers from Girls Seduction and Johnny Wright from boy band Frixon to the X Factor acts Bupsi Brown and Kitty Bracknell.

Also on the Friday night will be the annual pipe smoking competition and the adult’s and junior’s wheelbarrow races.

Saturday will hold all of the field events after the Riding of the Boundary.

The greasy pole competition is back for 2016 and will take place at 11am,followed by the throwing of the apples from the apple cart at 12:30pm.

Field events include the dog trials, wrestling and field races.

The climax of the fair is, of course, the World Gurning Championships.

This year is expected to the eagerly anticipated rematch between Tommy Mattinson and Gordon Blacklock, as Tommy tries to regain his winning form after Gordon took the 2015 title.

The Crab Fair committee chairman, Steve Foster, said: “ Our unique combination of traditional events and modern attractions continues to be very popular, and we are committed to keeping the Crab Fair as relevant as it was in the past by responding to public comments about what new events you want to see and what could be done better.

“Of course the success of an event like the Crab Fair depends a great deal on the weather, and last year we were blessed with good conditions. Let’s all hope for good weather again this year.”

Street entertainment, local acts, dance troupes and the fun fair will be on throughout the weekend.

So get your gurning faces ready for the Crab Fair 2016.


Who will win? After Gordon Blacklock ( left) took the crown from Tommy Mattinson (right) following his six-year winning streak will Tommy return in an attempt to regain first place? -Pictures by Robert Haile