It may seem a little early to mention Christmas, but it’s always the right time to start planning a visit to beautiful Ballymaloe in East Cork – especially with the announcement that the annual Ballymaloe Craft Fair is back! Following the cancellation of 2020’s event due to the pandemic, this year’s Fair will more than make up for lost time, taking place this year across two weekends – Friday 19th to Sunday 21st November and Friday 26th to Sunday 28th November.
The 2021 Craft Fair will see the fabulous Ballymaloe Grainstore transform into a magical market, with over 150 stalls showcasing and selling artisan products from Ireland’s finest food producers, artists, designers and craft brewers. Suitable for the whole family, the event will be open from 5-9pm each Friday evening, while there will be ample opportunity to browse and buy on Saturdays and Sundays, with the Craft Fair open from 10am to 5pm.
The majority of the stalls at this year’s Craft Fair will showcase crafts that have been made here in Ireland, and you’ll find an abundance of crafty goods, including textiles, glassware, sculpture, art pieces, woodwork, jewellery, leather goods and of course, a plentiful supply of stunning Christmas decorations. This is the perfect opportunity to supporting the “shop local” movement while picking up unique Christmas gifts for loved ones in the process.
There’s also plenty for food-lovers, as the Craft Fair will once again feature a wide range of goods from artisan food producers, with everything from farmhouse cheeses to smoked fish, as well as a gourmet selection of delicious Ballymaloe accompaniments that will provide the perfect finishing touches to any festive feast.
Bree Allen of Ballymaloe Grainstore said, “Having had to cancel last year’s Craft Fair, and all of our other events for that matter, we are hugely excited to welcome everyone back to the Ballymaloe Craft Fair this year. We have a wonderful selection of suppliers and stall holders organised and we’ve decided to run it across two weekends, in a bid to cater for as many people as is safely possible. The Ballymaloe Craft Fair provides the perfect opportunity for people to locally source Christmas presents this year and with the variety of stalls set to be displayed, we’re certain that you won’t be disappointed!”
In an effort to give something back, Ballymaloe Grainstore has partnered with St. Vincent de Paul South West region on their annual Car Draw fundraiser. The charity will be showcasing the car on the first weekend of the festival, while revellers can also support it across both weekends by purchasing a €5 raffle ticket at the majority of the stalls or on entry/exit to the event. All raffle ticket sales will go directly to St. Vincent de Paul to provide direct assistance to those in need, caring for the homeless, providing social housing, operating holiday homes and other social support activities, while promoting community self-sufficiency, enabling people to help themselves. The added bonus of the potential to win a car or a number of other high-ticket prizes is the cherry on top for those who support the draw.
Those who attend the first weekend (November 19th to 21st) will be offered a return ticket at a discounted rate of €5 for the second weekend, in case they wish to return and experience the delights of the Craft Fair all over again!
The Ballymaloe Craft Fair takes place in indoor, undercover and outdoor areas, making it a perfect day out for all the family. Free parking is available on site, while admission costs just €6, with free entry available to children under 12. With live craft demonstrations, children’s activities, countless stalls, hot food, mulled wine Ballymaloe cider, and live music, this is an event not to be missed.
If any Irish crafts people would like to apply to have a stall, please contact email@example.com. To find out more about Ballymaloe Craft Fair, visit www.ballymaloefestivals.ie or call 021 4757200. To enquire about room rates and reservations at Ballymaloe House, visit www.ballymaloe.ie. Follow the conversation on Facebook @thegrainstore, Instagram @ballymaloe_grainstore, Twitter @thegrainstore.