About the Ulster Festival of Steam and Transport
Ballymena is situated about 25 miles northwest of Belfast in Northern Ireland. It is the birthplace of a man who once studied physics and computer science at Queen's University in Belfast and later worked in Ballymena as a forklift operator and truck driver. Liam Neeson later found fame and an Oscar nomination in the title role as Oskar Schindler in Steven Spielberg’s epic movie Schindler’s List. Ballymena may have lost Mr. Neeson to Hollywood fame, but it will not lose being the site of the Ulster Festival of Steam and Transport held in July at the Ballee Playing Fields.
The annual Steam Rally is a two-day weekend event hosted by the Traction Engine Club of Ulster.
Expect to see the usual steam event array of tractors, motorbikes, vintage and classic cars, and stationary engines. Competitive Tractor Pulling with modified tractors will be featured on both days. Previous shows have featured surprises like a tractor fitted with an engine from a 38 Litre T38 Transmesh Russian Tank. A relatively new “sport” of Lawnmower Racing has proved popular in recent rallies as riders race around a twisty and bumpy course vying for a trophy. There will be a funfair for the kids, craft tents, trade stands, food outlets and don’t forget about the ice cream.
Traction Engine Club of Ulster
The Traction Engine Club of Ulster began when a man named Harold Condell put on an old-time threshing demonstration at his farm in 1966. The event was highly publicized via radio and the attendees included steam enthusiasts, photographers, the press, and of course some engine owners. The Club formed in 1967 and one year later, the first rally was held at Antrim Showgrounds. Its success meant that a larger venue was needed. Later events were held at Dunmore Park, then at Shane's Castle, and in 2013 it moved to its present location in Ballymena.
Entry To The Event
The event begins at 10:00 a.m. each day with Friday’s Agricultural Tractor Pulling running until dusk. Previous shows have featured an on-site BBQ and music for Friday night. On Saturday, the event ends at 5:00 p.m. The most recent show had an entry fee of £10.00 for adults, £7.00 for Senior Citizens and free for those under 16 years. Check with the organizers before arriving to see if the entry fees have changed and to hear the details of Friday night’s entertainment.
Somewhere to Stay in County Antrim
Cushendun Caravan Park, Craig House Campsite, and Portballintrae Caravan Park are just three of the many camps and caravan parks that lie along the northern coast and inner seas leading to the North Atlantic. Accommodations in Ballymena include the upscale Galgorm Spa & Golf Resort and several other lower-priced hotels in the immediate area.
Other Things To Do Around The Area
Weekend visitors will want to start their exploration of the Irish Coast by walking in Cranny Falls, about 17 miles east of Ballymena. The gentle incline of this walk takes the route of an old limestone railway track to the now idle Gortin Quarry, ending at Cranny Waterfall with descriptive panels along the way to tell of its history. Just be sure to bring comfortable walking shoes. Those with a taste for the macabre can travel to Dooey's Cairn, a Neolithic court grave located about 12 miles north of Ballymena. It is Ireland's only ancient cremation chamber.
This is an outdoor event so all well-behaved owners and dogs are welcome. Check with the organisers about any special accommodations but the flat terrain should be easy for wheelchair navigation. Finally, if you see a handsome forklift driver at the Ulster Festival of Steam and Transport, be sure to get his autograph.
When is the next Ulster Festival of Steam and Transport?
The Ulster Festival of Steam and Transport is planned to take place at Ballee Playing Fields, Ballymena, County Antrim, BT43 7DR, Friday 17th July, 2020. This is a Two Day Steam Rally.
External Website : Check this link for more information if necessary.
Please do not contact us directly about this event as we publicise the event only.
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