Crab Fair remains at heart of the community

Said to be one of the oldest fairs in the world, the Egremont Crab Fair once again attracted huge crowds – for the 749th time – the weekend of September 18 and 19. Kicking off […]
  • The Woods clan clad in yellow in memory of the late Anne Woods.

Said to be one of the oldest fairs in the world, the Egremont Crab Fair once again attracted huge crowds – for the 749th time – the weekend of September 18 and 19.

Kicking off in true style that weekend was the Friday evening’s Dancing in the Street party where Egremont main street was packed with fair-goers, entertainment lovers, and something for all the family to enjoy.

The night was hosted by Egremont’s own Stella the Fella who, as well as introducing the acts, performed a few of his own.

Hitting things off was male vocalist Sam Davidson and Carlisle girl band Seduction. Despite some technical difficulties, Seduction kept the crowd going and did not let this affect their performance. Their dance moves and popular choice of covers certainly got the crowd dancing.

Emma Jones – Britain’s Got Talent Semi-Finalist – was one of the opening acts of the evening, stunning crowds.

She said: “It felt great. You definitely get a little bit of of an adrenalin rush from singing.”

Another Britain’s Got Talent semi-finalist from 2014, Eva Iglesias, also graced the stage with her huge, sweet voice. She said: “It’s my first time and it’s absolutely beautiful. The audience was just awesome, the best thing about it, was it was a mixed age group crowd.”

For any 80’s fans the night was filled to brim. Eighties boy band lead singer Nathan Moore from Brother Beyond sang his hit single The Harder I Try, along with other 80’s classics.

But it was the headliner, ex-Katrina and the Waves frontwoman, Katrina Leskanich that got the crowd dancing on sunshine. Her 1984 hit Walking on Sunshine had members of the audience singing along and she also lit up the audience with Britain’s Eurovision 1997 winning song, Love Shines a Light.

She was a sure crowd pleaser. Katrina said: “I have played in front on 70,000 at Washington Mall and this beats it hands down.”

Friday evening also held the annual wheelbarrow competition. The race was won by two bananas Matthew Bewsher and Wayne Rayson who shot across the finish line by the war memorial.

Junior winner of the wheelbarrow race was Jake Burgess, making it his 3rd consecutive win. Jake said: “I felt very happy, and so proud of myself winning for the 3rd time in a row. Not to mention exhausted, and very wet.”

The race also included West Lakes Academy P.E teacher Alex Price dressed as Superman with his daughter dressed as Supergirl, who looked rather relaxed whilst her Dad huffed and puffed pushing the wheelbarrow.

Saturday morning of the fair saw the Main Street flocked with early risers for the beginnings of Crab Fair.

Among the early risers were families with young children. Many of the events of Crab Fair are centred around children, starting with the Children’s Street Racing at 9am around Egremont.

A popular activity with children was Ben Burford’s Smiley Train, which was always packed with excited kids.

Of course, other events were tailored for other ages and interests too, from the greasy pole to equestrian and events. There was even the ‘Nana Race’.

James Cuthbert, 15, who had travelled all the way from Leyland, Lancashire with his family, for the fair was the first up to the top of the greasy pole. James said: “It’s quiet high but loads of fun. It gets easier the higher you get.”

On the field was wrestling and the daredevil stunt show, leaving crowds with their hearts in their mouths.

A significant annual attendee was, Copeland elected mayor, Mike Starkie. He said: “It was great last night. “It’s fantastic to see so many people enjoying it last night and today. You’ve got to take your hat off to the committee in reviving the fair and keeping the fair and traditions going.”

The fair also attracted Egremont’s new priest of St Mary’s Catholic Church, Father Simon Hawksworth. Father Simon said: “It’s a fantastic area. Never been to the Crab Fair and its been such an interesting experience.”

The crab is done for another year, but is due to be back bigger and better than ever for it’s 750 next year, committee have stated.