Lanesboro plans carnival weekend to keep Horse Fair tradition alive

Ollie Fleming presents Jimmy McNally with First Prize (sponsored by Leavy Memorials) for his Class 1 Irish Draught Horse at the 2014 Lanesboro Horse Fair. Also in the photo are Laura Carroll (jockey) and Pauric Leavy of Leavy Memorials. Photo: Declan Gilmore
An all new Lanesboro Horse Fair is in the pipeline which will see a carnival style weekend in the town next May.

An all new Lanesboro Horse Fair is in the pipeline which will see a carnival style weekend in the town next May.

Tradition had it that February 12 was the Fair Day of Lanesboro where it was said that you could walk from Lanesboro Church to Ballyleague Church on the backs of horses - such was the popularity of the event.

It was the introduction of marts that brought an end to fair days, however every effort has been made by the people of Lanesboro in recent years, to keep the tradition alive in the south Longford area and this year it has been decided to turn it into a weekend event.

Taking place over the first weekend in May (Saturday & Sunday, May 2 & 3), the fair guarantees a carnival-like atmosphere that will attract young and old to the town.

“Preparations are well under way and our plan is to get a carnival into town on the Friday (May 1) and throughout the whole weekend,” committee member Stephanie Hanlon told the Leader.

“Then on the Saturday (May 2) we plan to hold the Fair, dog show and Hunt.

“We are hoping to get the Longford and Roscommon Harriers on board for this.

“We are hoping to secure space for a campsite and we want everyone to come out and support us.

“We are inviting anyone who is part of a club or organisation to get involved and make this an event that will go from strength to strength and serve as a boost to the whole county.”

Throughout the weekend there will be musical entertainment in the bars and local artists and musicians are being encouraged to take to the streets of their hometown and busk the weekend away.

A tattoo artist will also be in town and the American Car Club is expected to make a very special arrival too.

“Our aim is to improve this area,” continued Ms Hanlon.

“Lanesboro really is a beautiful place and we believe that we can turn the Lanesboro Horse Fair into something very special, that will appeal to people of all ages.”

The next meeting of the organising committee takes place this Thursday evening, March 12 at 8.30pm in Adie’s.

For more details, contact Stephanie on (087) 3446088 of check out Lanesboro Horse Fair on Facebook.