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Page last updated at 12:59 GMT, Monday, 3 August 2009 13:59 UK
Sheep Fair back for 661st show

The event has only been cancelled twice - in 2001 and 2007 - because of foot and mouth disease

Priddy Sheep Fair is back for its 661st year.

Attracting around 10,000 people, the free event is going back to its roots of being an agricultural show as requested by the local parish.

This has meant traders which supply goods on this theme will be given preferential treatment.

Organisers have decided not to accept any requests from fast food traders as they "already have more than they need" and they are looking at reducing the number for future events so that healthier food will only be available.

Priddy Sheep Fair
The fair moved from Wells in 1348 because of the Black Death, although evidence has been found of a fair being held in Priddy before that
A local legend says that as long as the hurdle stack remains in the village, so will the fair.
The fair is held on the nearest Wednesday to 21st August
Originally it was held on the feast of St Lawrence the Matyr on the 10th August
The event has only been cancelled twice, in 2001 and 2007, because of foot and mouth

The 2009 show, which will be held on Wednesday 19 August, will see some changes to previous fairs.

The fun fair will be moved to another area of the village green so that the sheep pens can be moved to the northern end of the green (in front of Manor Farm).

Committee member Tom Killian said: "We have made these changes to see if we can make the sale run more smoothly for the sheep vendors/purchasers.

"By moving the layout, we hope to enable the vendors/purchasers to be able to leave sooner.

"Also there will be a hard standing for the vehicles to load/unload on, and in light of the weather over the last few years this should be a good thing."

Another addition this year is a market stall field.

Trade stands officer Joe Speed said: "We have had a lot of feedback over the last two years in regard to extra stalls and we are pleased to now be able to increase the area.

"We have located the site between the main car park and the Village green, so it's easy for people to get to."

The demonstration area has been increased so that a mixture of country crafts and skills will be on show.

One thing which will not be at this year's event is the implement sale, however an extra event is hoped to be planned for September where a better selection of items will be on sale.

The BBC Somerset Bus will also be at the fair, where it will be broadcasting Emma Britton's Morning Show live.



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