Your guide to Egremont Crab Fair 2017

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14 September 2017 4:23PM

As Egremont Crab Fair gets ready to celebrate its 750th birthday this weekend, The Whitehaven News visited St Bridget's Catholic Primary School and Bookwell Primary School to meet the next generation of gurners.

Face-pulling pupils displayed gurns to concern current champion Adrian Zivelonghi and multiple winner Tommy Mattinson ahead of Saturday's World Gurning Championships.

The students are among many in Egremont, and across the world, looking forward to the anniversary festivities.

I honestly cannot wait for this one, it could quite possibly be the highlight of the year for me.

"We've had a lot of interest, even from outside the county," said Crab Fair secretary Callum Scott. "There's people visiting from different parts of the country and we've got a film crew from Germany coming for the full day on the Saturday."

Crab Fair fun gets underway on Friday with Taste Cumbria's food festival and 'Dancing in the Street', headlined by Union J and including a performance by former Eurovision contestant Sonia.

Organised by CN Events, the food festival includes chef demonstrations, a beer tent with local ales and a live stage with Cumbrian bands and artists. It begins at 12pm on Friday and finishes at 7pm on Saturday.

The Main Street music event, which begins at 5pm and runs until 11pm, will also include performances from Stooshe, West End star Emma Lindars, X-Factor's Bupsi, Kelly Wilde and Angie Brown.

On Saturday, there will be traditional events such as street racing, Cumberland Wrestling, the parade of the apple cart and the World Gurning Championships as well as the inaugural Crab Fest.

A street parade, finishing with the parade of the apple cart, gets underway at 11am on Saturday. The town's Market Hall will open at 5.30pm for the build-up to the World Gurning Championship.

Taking place on the sports field, Baybarrow Road, the fair's first music festival will feature entertainment from Late Night Legacy, Chadelics, Northern Threads, The Black Guards, Rhythm Dead Lady, Avalon, Jodie Murphy, NewtonSmith and Lee Adams.

There will also be children's entertainment, fairground rides and Jamie Squibb's freestyle stunt team. It will run from 1pm to 7pm and entry is £5.

Ryan Kitto, of Late Night Legacy, said: "I honestly cannot wait for this one, it could quite possibly be the highlight of the year for me.

"Being brought up in Egremont the Crab Fair means the world to me and my family. It is an honour to headline Crab Fest.

"My dad was actually on the committee and ran a fly casting stall on the field so I've spent many a year up there helping him out. It's always such a brilliant atmosphere there too.

"Josh, our drummer, has been practising his gurn so hopefully he get's up on stage on the night."

At Friday's Crab Fair disco, Melissa Herbert, 13, of Brisco Mount, was named as this year's Crab Fair queen. The reserve queen is Connie Dougan, 12, of Whinney Hill, Cleator Moor.

Darren Bellard, of Cleator Moor, won the fair's darts competition. Both events were held at the town's Catholic club.

And on Sunday, David Gainford took first place in the clay pigeon shoot, with Craig Brough in second and Norman and Joe Huck sharing third position.

On Tuesday night, the Dent Fell race returned to the fair for the first time in 14 years and Sam Stead, from Keswick, finished first, with Egremont's Alan Bowness in second. There was also a multi-terrain race, with 80 competitors taking part.

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