Tourism NI funding boost for Sham Fight

l-r: King James (Brian Johnston), Millar Farr, Sovereign Grand Master of the Royal Black Institution, Billy Scott, Grand Registrar of the Royal Black Institution, and King William (John Adair) at the launch on the 2015 Sham Fight. Pic by Rowland White
l-r: King James (Brian Johnston), Millar Farr, Sovereign Grand Master of the Royal Black Institution, Billy Scott, Grand Registrar of the Royal Black Institution, and King William (John Adair) at the launch on the 2015 Sham Fight. Pic by Rowland White

This year’s Sham Fight, organised by the Royal Black Perceptory 1000, will take place in Scarva on Tuesday, July 14.

And the annual event has also landed extra funding via Tourism NI.

The annual clash between King William and King James and the massive procession through the local village attracts between 80,000 and 100,000 people.

The Sham Fight at Scarva is firmly established as one of the major events on the Northern Ireland cultural and tourism calendar.

This year funding has been secured from the Department of Trade and Enterprise/Tourism Northern Ireland, the Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon Council and the Ulster Scots Agency.

Speaking at the launch of the event, The Enterprise, Trade and Investment Minister, Jonathan Bell, MLA, said: “It is an amazing occasion packed with music and pageantry, a day the whole family can enjoy and an event that attracts tens of thousands of spectators from near and far.

“The continued success of the event is a huge credit to the organisers and I am pleased that my department, through Tourism NI, has been able to support them this year.”

The extra funding given to the organisers this year will be used to provide more stewards who will help manage the massive crowds attending the Sham Fight.

Video screens and other stage equipment will be provided for people to enjoy the day and a special marquee will be set up to allow visitors understand the history of the Royal Black Institution and the Sham Fight.

On Tuesday, July 14, at 9.45am, members of Scarva Royal Black Preceptory will lay a wreath at the village memorial to local members of the security forces who were murdered in the Troubles.

The procession will leave the assembly field on the Gilford Road at 11.30am. More than 90 preceptories of the Royal Black Institution will take part in the procession, joined by a wide range of bands to suit all tastes. Tandragee District will lead the procession. A religious service, conducted by Rev. John Batchelor, County Grand Chaplain of Armagh, will be held at 2.00pm.

Following the service, the principal speaker at a public meeting will be the Sovereign Grand Master, Millar Farr.