Monday, 6 June 2016

Appleby Horse Fair 2016

Appleby Horse Fair is something I should have visited years ago. It's a fascinating event to experience. Chaos, in the best possible sense.

Over the course of a week, about 10-15,000 Gypsies and Travellers descend on the town to buy and sell horses. Lots more happens besides, with engagements and marriages and lots of other social networking going on.

I suppose it's quite a unique event for such a large scale gathering, because it really isn't designed to raise money from the non-Gypsy visitors. As a non-Gypsy visitor you're free to buy a horse if you so wish, and buy a bottle of water from the shop or fish and chips from the takeaway, but there really isn't a great deal else in terms of commercial enterprise. And that's a pretty unique and great thing, leaving the event more about its historical roots, going back hundreds of years.

It was also a very relaxed and friendly event, which is the opposite of what some people had told me to expect. I very much enjoyed it, and will be back again next year.