COMBER CHRISTMAS FAIR IN THE SQUARE 2016
Please come and help us celebrate this year’s
Comber Christmas Fair on Thursday 24th November 2016.
As this is the 10th Anniversary of the event we aim to make this year’s Fair more fun and festive for the whole family.
Santa will be in his grotto between 4.45pm and 6.30pm when he leaves to switch on the Comber Christmas lights at 7pm.
“And there’s more”…… lovely stone wall appearing from behind the ivy. A special thankyou for this work which was done voluntary. So much appreciated.
Glen Link will be glowing purple, spring 2017. Special thanks to Comber Rotary for providing 2000 purple flowering crocus bulbs & Ards & North Down Council for planting. Rotary clubs world wide have been working tirelessly to free world from polio. A Purple crocus flower symbolises the purple dye painted on the little fingers of children who have been vaccinated.
Comber Regeneration Community Partnership, the organisation that runs the successful artisan food and plant market in Comber, is celebrating the 2nd birthday of Comber Farmers’ Market on Thursday 7 July, St Mary’s Parish Church, the Square, Comber, from 9.00am – 1.30pm.
In addition to our regular food and plant stalls, we welcome the Hanna family who have a milking herd of Jersey cows on their farm on the Hillsborough Road outside Carryduff. They will be selling their certified and registered creamy, raw milk which is packed full of goodness and health benefits.
There will also be free activities for children, a free hamper draw, and birthday cake for some lucky customers (while stocks last). So come along and celebrate this significant milestone in the life cycle of our popular market which is helping to regenerate Comber and support our local food producers who are selling their top quality products at fair market prices.
Comber Earlies Fringe Festival, is a week long programme of events, from Fri 17th – Sun 26th June, being hosted by Comber Regeneration Community Partnership, and supported by Ards and North Down Council, local businesses and voluntary groups in Comber. CRCP’s vision was to provide opportunities for more community involvement and develop a sense of identity through the Comber Earlies Potato, which achieved EU PGI (Protected Geographic Indication) status.
The Fringe Festival’ got off with a CHAMP-ion star on Friday 17th June with the School Olympics held at Comber Rec. Pupils from a number of local primary schools competing for Gold, Silver and Bronze Medals! There were a few future Esain Bolts there!
On Satuday 18th June, the winner from the Festival Queen nominations was announced by the judges at the Supper dance being held in Comber Rifle Club. This year the Festival Queen was chosen from women who have been specially nominated as an ‘Unsung Heroine’ that holds an organisation or the Comber Community together in a special way; a woman who always does way above and beyond what would be expected of them. Eveline Carlisle was announced as 2016 Comber Earlies Festival Queen. Congratulations to A lovely lady who has served Comber Community over many years in her own special way.
The wee man from Strabane is looking forward to a plate of Comber Earlies on Thurs 23rd June! Hugo Duncan will be broadcasting live from Comber Square at the Fringe Festival. This is planned to be a fabulous family day out, with Festival food stalls, lots to taste, craft activities, face painting, competitions and lots more.
More toe tapping music can also be enjoyed at ‘Music for the Potato Gathering ’in the Non subscribing church hall on Wed night. Comber library will also be hosting ‘Gathering Stories’, tea and craic with the Libraries NI storyteller in Residence, Liz Weir on Wed 22 June at 2.00pm. For those who enjoy a few brain teasers, North Down House will be running a ‘Spud Quiz’ on Thurs night, 23rd June commencing at 9.30pm
Other highlights include the ‘Living Legacy Roadshow’ hosted by Comber Historical Society, a special day for all the family on Sat 18th, in Andrews Memorial hall. For those who enjoy a little grated cheese on their baked potato, can ‘Meet the Cheesemaker’ at Indie Fude’s event on Fri 24 June. For all doggie lovers, a great family evening’s fun and entertainment will be had at ‘The patch, Ballyrainey Road on Tues 21st June.
After the Comber Earlies Food Festival, on Sat 25th June, Comber Silver band will provide special music at a short service in the square on Sunday 26th June with Comber Churches Together to conclude all the festival activities.
Further details of events in the Fringe Festival are on www.comberregeneration.co.uk or available in Comber library, and posted around the town.
CRCP look forward to your support at these events. ‘See you there’!
‘PAWS @ THE PATCH’ on Tues 21st June, 7.00 – 9.00pm is an evening for all the family and four legged friends, organised by Ronnie McAleese MBE, as part of the Comber Earlies Fringe Festival. The Patch, at Ballyrainey Road, near Comber is a purpose built dog training centre. (www.patchagility.co.uk)
Ronnie says, ‘There’ll be no time for either the dog or handler to ‘paws’ during the agility competitions starting at 7.0pm These competitions are for all grades and heights of working dogs!’
The PDSA (Peoples Dispensary for Sick Animals) are also supporting this event with a Fun Dog Show. The PDSA is the UK’s leading veterinary charity which provises care for the pets of people in need by providing free vet services to their sick and injured animals as well as promoting responsible pet ownership. PDSA operate a UK-wide network of 51 pet hospitals and pet practices, and run a pet hospital on the Antrim Road, Belfast. Classes at their Fun Dog Show include the ‘Most Handsome Fella’, ‘Prettiest Girlie’, ‘Cutest Puppy’ (up to 12 months) and not to be left out, the ‘Golden Oldie’ (over 7 years). Perhaps the Golden Oldie is better known as a Golden Wonder at a Comber potato dog show! There’ll be lots of competition too for the ‘Dog with the Waggiest Tail’ and a special class for ‘Best of Friends’. The entry fee is £1.00 per class per dog.
Children will have the opportunity to enjoy a punch and Judy Show at 7.30pm and the magic show at 8.30pm, organised by Carnival Promotions. The Party Professor will also be there to provide themed balloon modelling workshops, face painting and glitter tattoos.
For the keen angler, AM Angling will be holding a Fly Casting Competition on grass, with prizes for the top gent, the top lady, and child (under 16yrs). And if that’s not all, Karl Hamilton, from Mantella environmental education will bring you up close and personal to some weird and wonderful animals at his Zoo-To-You Animal Encounter. – And they are not four legged either!
Comber Regeneration Community Partnership says ‘ We deeply appreciate the amount of voluntary time and effort that Ronnie has put into planning PAWS @THE PATCH, a special event for Comber Earlies Fringe Festival. We want Comber Families and four legged friends to head out to The Patch on Tuesday 21st June for a fabulous evening of fun.’
Further information from www.patchagility.co.uk or E: Ronnie@agility.co.uk
or M: 07840 280276
Comber Earlies Fringe Festival starts on Fri 17th June with a week long programme of events delivered by Comber Regeneration Community Partnership, in the run up to the Comber Earlies Food Festival in the Square and St Marys Church Carpark on Saturday 25th June from 10.0 – 4.0pm organised by Ards and North Down Council in conjunction with Food NI, Comber Earlies Growers & CRCP. This promises to be a fabulous day out to celebrate our world famous Comber Earlies.
However there will be no couch potatoes in Parkway at 9.0am on Sat 25th June. A bumper crop of over 300 runners will get the Comber Earlies Food Festival off to a healthy start at the Bumper Park Run, organised by Norman Mawhinney.
For those less energetic early birds at 9.00pm, a special bargain along with a wee cup of coffee can be enjoyed at the Car Boot Sale in First Comber Presbyterian Church Carpark.
In the months prior to the Festivals, Comber Horticultural Society, held potato planting workshops in six local primary schools as part of the ‘Potty Potatoes Competition’ which aims to highlight the importance of the Comber Earlie and its special logo indicating ‘Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) status under European law. Primary Schools taking part including Comber, Andrews Memorial, St Marys, Killinchy, Carrickmannon and Alexander Dixon, will be ‘digging’ up their crops of potatoes, and heading to the ‘Weigh-In’ and judging at the Comber Earlies Food Festival at 2.0pm. There’s great excitement to find out which school will have grown the biggest crop of Earlies!
At the Food Festival, there will be opportunities to sample a range of NI local produce from gourmet burgers to artisan fudge at the Food Stalls or enjoy a cookery demonstration from some of our local chefs.
There’s something for everyone – tractor display, Ulster Scots Highland Games, and lots of potato inspired fun along with live music to add to the Festival atmosphere.
Comber Regeneration Community Partnership comments, ‘Both Comber Earlies Fringe Festival and the Food Festival provide a S-MASH-ing programme of events for the Comber community and further afield. These Festivals will help to promote both Comber and its famous Earlies across the province and are an added attraction for tourists to visit our town. A lot of voluntary work has gone into their organisation so we ask everyone one to spread the word about these events to all their friends and help promote Comber. – See you there!’