Egremont Crab Fair

Egremont Crab Fair
The Egremont Crab Fair is an annual fair that takes place in the small market town of Egremont in Cumbria, England. Founded in the 13th century, it is one of the longest-running annual fairs in the world. The fair is probably most famous for hosting the World Gurning Championships.

The origins of the Egremont Crab Fair go back to 1267, when King Henry III granted the fair a Royal Charter. It is believed to have been held continuously since then, except for unavoidable interruptions during wars. The fair gets its name from a tradition started by the Lord of Egremont: he gave away crab apples (small, very sour apples gathered from wild apple trees) at each fair. The tradition continues to this day with the Parade of the Apple Cart.

Little is known about the events of the Egremont Crab Fair prior to the 19th century. It probably featured the same attractions as other local fairs, such as cock fighting and greasy pole climbing. The gurning contest became part of the fair relatively recently. Gurning, in British English, is making a distorted facial expression (the American English equivalent is “making a face”). Gurning contests are a rural English tradition.

The Egremont Crab Fair hosts the World Gurning Championships. Contestants traditionally frame their faces through a horse collar. Before 1978, there was a combined men’s and women’s competition, but now there are three separate competitions: the Men’s Gurning Contest, the Ladies Gurning Contest, and the Junior Gurning Contest.

The fair is held every year on the third Saturday of September. It combines traditional events with modern attractions in a unique way, attracting visitors from all over the world. It includes the Apple Cart Parade, street racing, Cumberland wrestling, bicycle racing, dialect singing, and a lot of other events and attractions for visitors of all ages. The fair is a major local event, with Egremont's main street being closed to traffic for a parade and street dancing.

 Egremont Crab Fair




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