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DECK THE HOLIDAY'S: August 2017

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

BURGERFEST FROM SEYMOUR, WISCONSIN!






Hamburger Charlie and the Early Days of the Hamburger

Who was "Hamburger Charlie"?

   Charlie Nagreen was born in Hortonville, Wisconsin in 1870, where he spent his boyhood. He began his ground beef and onion career at age 15 when he loaded up his ox can and traveled 20 miles north to Seymour to sell meatballs at the fair.

Why was Charlie selling meatballs?

   The meatball was easy to assemble and the young lad knew people would be hungry after walking around viewing the agricultural exhibits at the fair. What he didn't realize was that people wanted to keep moving and visit the displays.




The founding father of the Burger
 
 
 

How did the hamburger come about?
   Charlie was a resourceful young man with an outgoing personality. After not experiencing much success selling the meatballs, he had an idea and located some bread. He realized people could take this meal with them if he simply smashed the meat together between two pieces of bread. He called it a "hamburger" and yes, in 1885 the burger was born at the fair in Seymour, Wisconsin.

How did he come up with the name "hamburger"?
   Many German immigrants lived in the Hortonville area. Ground up beefsteak was a popular choice for the dinner table. This steak was named after the German city of Hamburg where it was commonly consumed. Since the name was easily recognizable; "Charlie" used it to get attention. He then spread onions on top and the word spread to taste the gastronomical delight that Charlie had to offer.

Did Charlie visit other fairs?

   Charlie returned to the Seymour fair for the next 65 years, but numerous other fairs were added to his summer circuit. Evidence indicates he brought his meat treat to fairs in Shawano, Green Bay, Weyauwega. Oshkosh, New London and others. "Charlie's" stand was a popular spot and people in neighboring communities came to believe they couldn't have a fair without "Charlie".









 
How do we know that Seymour is truly "the home of the hamburger"?

   Numerous communities from New Your to Texas claim to be the birthplace of the burger, but no one can supply any evidence dating back to 1885 like Seymour. Early newspaper articles, interviews with contemporaries and Charlie's daughter all verify the burger was served at the Seymour fair in 1885.

 
History
It was in this setting, the busy Seymour Fair of 1885, where Hamburger Charlie , a young lad of 15 first set up his stand selling meat balls that became "hamburgers."


   Seymour’s First Annual Fair an Unprecedented Triumph
As Printed in the Appleton Post, Appleton Wisconsin. Thursday, Oct. 15, 1885.


   Every Man, Woman and Child in the Realm Exercised a lively Interest in Contributing to it's Brilliancy.








   Twenty-one miles north of Appleton is located the prosperous little city of Seymour. The county that intervenes is as fertile, and supports as many prosperous farmers as any section of territory, similar in range, within the state of Wisconsin. The elegant homes of the husbandmen surrounded by capacious barns; broad fields undulating and well fenced herds of blooded cattle and flocks of well bred sheep, towering stacks of hay and straw, and granaries filled to overflowing are the evidences that present themselves of the wealth of this area.   The same may be said of the country ‘round about Seymour, and as it is of this particular section, as well as the municipality, and its accomplishments that we wish to treat, we will waste no words in the introduction of our story.

The City of Seymour

   The city of Seymour is possessed of as many men of determined energy as its prescribed limits can well contain. In all things pertaining to the interest of the place they are united, so that when a measure comes up which is in the least calculated to rebound to the public weal it is developed and matured and worked for all the treasure it contains grounds suitable for such entertainments as were contemplated were purchased and enclosed, a half-mile track equal in excellence to any in the county prepared, and a splendid exhibition hall was constructed.




Charlie and his crew back in the day



The First Annual Fair

   Numerous agricultural products were exhibited at the fair -- Fancy stocks of vegetables and grain. The vegetables and cereals made us contemplate with envy the luxuries of the high life. Prize cattle, sheep and hogs were the hit of the fair. Nothing on the grounds attracted as much attention as the bees displayed in glass hives by Mr. John Bull. The little insects appeared to appreciate the admiration bestowed upon them and toiled without rest to maintain their reputation for industry.

Exhibition Hall

   The exhibition hall was the central attraction for all visitors. Here it was that household comforts, ornamental work, flowers, fine art and the products of the factory and the foundry were arranged side by side to demonstrate the diversified industries of the people. Phillip Muehl’s furniture created a desire in spectators to make themselves comfortable while they inspected the hardware novelties and dry goods.







Machinery

   On the grounds outside there was a very great variety of laborsaving farm machinery. The goods exhibited there our farmers are familiar with, and any essay we might write on them, farther than to say they are the best produced, would be a useless waste of time.

The Races

   The horse trot is a source of income that agricultural societies all over the country have been compelled to take advantage of, but in no instance represents the best interest of the farmers. On the other hand the improvement in the style of travel and speed of the horses is most impressive. The array of fine horses that were on the grounds during the fair is conclusive evidence that this section of the country is well stocked with champion steeds.

General Notes

Of Seymour and its citizens and leading industries we will have something to say in the future. In the meantime we congratulate the town on the splendid success of the first annual fair. May each succeeding exhibition grow in importance until the expositions there held fully equal if they do not excel any in the country.




Grilling the worlds largest hamburger




“Hamburger Charlie” Ready to begin 62nd Tour of Fairs
As Printed in the Appleton Post -- Appleton Wisconsin, 1947

   Back in 1885, ground beef patties were called meatballs, and then they became known as “hamburgers.” C.R. Nagreen 2102 S. Oneida Street, known as “Hamburger Charlie” avers he is the originator of the word “hamburger.î”Beginning Aug. 14 at the Outagamie Co. fair at Seymour and continuing through all the fairs, - Wautoma, Oshkosh, Shawano and Weyauwega, Charlie will dispense his famous hamburgers-this time from a brand new 12 by 14 foot tent and using new equipment. With the awnings up and benches on the side the tent will be 40 feet long.








   When Charlie was 15, back in 1885, he began his career, which has reached its 62nd year this summer. He drove into the Seymour fair with a yoke of oxen in that year, and thereafter made his circuit to the fairs by horse, by train and finally by auto.



 
The ketchup slide

A ROSE OF TRALEE FESTIVAL FROM KERRY!

 


  The Rose of Tralee festival is an international competition which is celebrated among Irish communities all over the world. The festival takes its inspiration from a nineteenth century ballad of the same name about a woman called Mary, who because of her beauty was called The Rose of Tralee. The words of the song are credited to C. (or E.) Mordaunt Spencer and the music to Charles William Glover, but a story circulated in connection with the festival claims that the song was written by William Pembroke Mulchinock, a wealthy Protestant, out of love for Mary O'Connor, a poor Catholic maid in service to his parents.

Origin

   The festival has its origins in the local Carnival Queen, once an annual town event, fallen by the wayside due to post-war emigration. In 1957, the Race Week Carnival was resurrected in Tralee, and it featured a Carnival Queen. The idea for the Rose of Tralee festival came when a group of local business people met in Harty's bar in Tralee to come up with ideas to bring more tourists to the town during the horse racing meeting and to encourage ex-pats back to their native Tralee. Led by Dan Nolan, then managing director of The Kerryman newspaper, they hit on the idea of the Rose of Tralee festival. The competition started in 1959 on a budget of just £750.



 


 The founders of the organisation were: Billy Clifford - an accountant with the Rank Organisation who was one of the first recipients of the Golden Rose award (which was inaugurated to celebrate the 10th Anniversary of the Festival of Kerry); Dan Nolan, the owner of The Kerryman newspaper and involved with Tralee Races; Jo Hussey, a shopkeeper in Tralee and Ted Healy.
   Originally, only women from Tralee were eligible to compete, in the early 1960s it was extended to include any women from Kerry, and in 1967 it was further extended to include any women of Irish birth or ancestry.

The Story of the Rose of Tralee

   Mary O'Connor lived in the middle of Tralee town, in Brogue Lane, which took its name from the broguemakers (or shoemakers) who lived and worked there. Mary lived in a thatched cabin with her parents, sisters Brigid and Ellen and younger brother Willie. Her father was a broguemaker, and her mother worked as a dairymaid. Mary was very beautiful; she had long dark hair and soft, shining eyes.
   Her status as the daughter of a broguemaker and dairymaid meant Mary was destined for work as a maid or house-help. When she was 17 she secured employment as a kitchen maid for the Mulchinock household in Tralee.












   The Mulchinocks were a wealthy family of merchants who owned a wool and linen draper's shop on the site of what is now Heaton's department store in Tralee.
   Michael Mulchinock had married Margaret McCann and they lived in the grand Mulchinock house, West Villa. The family owned a considerable amount of land around the house and the neighbourhood, as well as property in town. They had servants, coachmen, gardeners and farmhands.
   Michael died of a fever in 1828, so Margaret Mulchinock was head of the household when Mary O'Connor started working in the kitchens of West Villa. Also living in the house were Margaret's sons William Pembroke, Edward, Henry and her married daughter Maria.
   Mary O'Connor was delighted to be given employment at West Villa, and soon Margaret's daughter, Maria, seeing that Mary was intelligent and kind to her children asked her to be maid to her daughters Anne and Margaret.










    Margaret Mulchinock's sons had grown to be young men and William was becoming a dreamer. In the eyes of his family he was good-for-nothing, and even worse: a poet.
   In November 1840 Henry, William's younger brother, died. William was inconsolable as he was closer to William than his more practical brother Edward. He wrote a poem about his feelings:
 



 For him of the fair young brow I weep,
Who takes in the churchyard now his sleep;
For he was the star above sun-bright,
That tinged with the light of love my night.

 
   It wasn't long before William met his sister's new nursemaid. As soon as he saw Mary he was transfixed by her eyes, her grace, her long dark hair and delicate skin.
   Mary and William began to meet each other every day by the well in the grounds of West Villa, that looked out over the sea and mountains. Sometimes they walked down Lover's Lane or up to Clahane to dance.
   One night beneath the pale, silvery moon William asked Mary to marry him. However, William's family disapproved of him seeing Mary, the broguemaker's daughter who lived in a small peasant house in the middle of town. Whilst Mary loved William, she knew that their union could never be, as it would force him to turn his back on his family and he would begin to regret the day he'd ever met her. She declined his offer of marriage.
   William refused to give up. He wrote a song for Mary to try and convince her otherwise.

The pale moon was rising above the green mountains,
The sun was declining beneath the blue sea,
When I strayed with my love by the pure crystal fountain,
That stands in the beautiful Vale of Tralee.

She was lovely and fair as the rose of the summer,
Yet 'twas not her beauty alone that won me.
Oh no, 'twas the truth in her eyes ever dawning
That made me love Mary, the Rose of Tralee.
   But Mary still refused to marry him.
   The next evening, after attending a political rally in town, William went to visit Mary at West Villa and gave her a ring which he placed on her finger. Suddenly the door burst open and a friend of William's rushed in to inform him that William had been accused of the murder of a man at the rally. Two men had got into a fight and as leader of one of the rebel groups challenging the upcoming election, William had been held responsible. William's friend informed him there was a warrant out for his arrest and a reward of 100 gold sovereigns for finding him. He was told to make for Barrow Harbour and get on a wine ship that was leaving that night. William kissed Mary goodbye and told her he would return soon.










   William made his way to India where he worked as a war correspondent. Here he met an officer from Limerick who asked William what had bought him to India. When William told him the officer said he would use his influence to get William returned to Ireland, and to Tralee, a free man.
   So in 1849, some six years after leaving Tralee, William returned. He stopped off at The Kings Arms in Rock Street for a drink before planning to visit Mary in nearby Brogue Lane. The landlord began to draw the curtains to mark the passing of a funeral coming down the street. On enquiring who the funeral was for, William was told it was for a local girl from Brogue Lane, a lovely and fair young woman named Mary O'Connor - the Rose of Tralee.
   William was devastated and his heart broken. There was nothing left for him but to visit Mary's grave on the outskirts of town. The famine was at its height in Ireland at this time and most of the country's eight million inhabitants were trying to survive on a diet of potatoes alone.





Winner of the 2009 Rose of Tralee Contest





   William never got over Mary's death, and despite marrying and having children with an old flame he refused to forget her.
   William moved with his family to New York in 1849 but returned alone six years later to Tralee and lived the rest of his life in Ashe Street. He died in 1864 at the age of 44 and at his request was buried at the graveyard in Clogherbrien next to his true love Mary, the Rose of Tralee.
   You can visit Mary O'Connor's grave at the graveyard in Clogherbrien by taking the Fenit road out of Tralee and the graveyard is on the right hand side.

Modern Practice

   The Rose of Tralee festival is now held annually at the end of August in Tralee, County Kerry, to choose a young woman to be crowned the Rose. The winning Rose is the woman deemed to best match the attributes relayed in the song: "lovely and fair". The winner is selected based on her personality and should be a good role model for the festival and for Ireland during her travels around the world. In contrast to beauty










pageants, there is no swimwear section in the Rose of Tralee contest and the contestants are not judged on their appearances but rather their over-all personality and suitability to serve as ambassadors for the festival. The festival bills itself as celebration of the "aspirations, ambitions, intellect, social responsibility and Irish heritage" of modern young women.
   Each of the 32 counties in Ireland select a Rose and there is also a Rós Fódhla representing the Gaeltacht or Irish-speaking areas in Ireland. Regional finals are held in June where six Irish women are selected to take part in the International Rose of Tralee festival. Roses from Kerry, Dublin and Cork automatically qualify for the festival held in August.





The M.C. and Contestants





   There are international Roses chosen from around the world who also participate in the Rose of Tralee festival. These include the centres of Birmingham, Boston, Darwin, Dubai, France, London, Luxembourg, Leeds, Newcastle, New York, New Orleans, New Zealand, Perth, Philadelphia, Queensland, San Francisco, Southern California, South Australia, Sunderland, Sydney, Texas, Toronto and many more centres who take part in the qualifying rounds.
   The contest, which is broadcast over two nights by RTÉ was hosted in 2010 by Dáithí Ó Sé.   It was previously presented for over twenty years by Gay Byrne. Other previous presenters include Ray D'Arcy (2005–09), Ryan Tubridy, Marty Whelan and Derek Davis. The first presenter of The Rose of Tralee (prior to it being televised) was Kevin Hilton.
   The festival has had financial difficulties in recent years, however the number of people who view the live broadcast of the program remains high.
In 2008 unmarried mothers were allowed to enter the contest for the first time.
The Channel 4 comedy Father Ted parodied the festival in the episode "Rock-a-Hula Ted" where the eponymous character is asked to host the local "Lovely Girls" competition.   Will Scally produced and directed a Channel Four documentary called Rose of Tralee.










   To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the festival in 2009, 50 roses took part in the 2009 competition rather than the approximately 30 who take part every other year.
Michele McCormack (1985 Chicago Rose) has gone on to win an Edward R. Murrow Award in her chosen profession of broadcast journalism. She hosts selection contests both in Philadelphia and the Midwest. (She credits her interview technique to Gay Byrne, who hosted the contest when she was in Tralee.) Other notable roses include Aoife Mulholland of Galway (2003) who went on to achieve acclaim as an actor. Sinéad De Roiste was the first "African Irish American", as she called herself, representing Philadelphia (2003). Noreen M. Culhane (New York Rose 1970) now Executive Vice President of the New York Stock Exchange.

NATIONAL EISTEDDFOD OF WALES!!






  The National Eisteddfod of Wales is one of the great festivals of the world, attracting over 160,000 visitors every year. An eclectic mixture of culture, music, visual arts and all kinds of activities for people of all ages, there’s something for everyone on the Maes during the first week of August every year.
   The Eisteddfod is a travelling festival which belongs to the people of Wales – wherever they live, and this is an integral part of its appeal. The festival visits areas in north and south Wales alternately, and hosting the National Eisteddfod is a great boost for any area.
   It’s an ideal opportunity to promote and encourage people to use and learn Welsh locally, to take part in cultural activities in their area, and it’s also a great opportunity to promote the region as a tourist destination. The economic effect on the area is huge, with the Eisteddfod contributing between £6-8 million to the local economy during the week.










   The Eisteddfod is the home of literature, music, dance, recitation, theatre, visual arts, science and technology, and all types of culture in Wales, and although the festival only lasts for a week, the preparatory work and the buzz surrounding the event and all its activities lasts for more than two years before the Eisteddfod. Many areas choose to continue organizing events promoting the Welsh language and culture once the festival is over.

History

   The National Eisteddfod of Wales can be traced back to 1176 when it is said that the first Eisteddfod was held, under the auspices of Lord Rhys, at his castle in Cardigan. There he held a grand gathering to which were invited poets and musicians from all over the country. A chair at the Lord's table was awarded to the best poet and musician, a tradition that prevails in the modern day National Eisteddfod.











   Following 1176, many eisteddfodau were held throughout Wales, under the patronage of Welsh gentry and noblemen. At the beginning of the nineteenth century, an Eisteddfod of historical significance was held at the Ivy Bush Inn in Carmarthen, when the Gorsedd of Bards first became officially associated with this national event. By this time, the Eisteddfod had developed in to a fully-fledged folk festival on a large scale.
In 1880, the National Eisteddfod association was formed and charged with the responsibility of staging an annual festival to be held in North and South Wales alternately, and with the exception of 1914 and 1940, this target has been successfully achieved.









Gorsedd of the Bards

   The Gorsedd of Bards of the Isle of Britain has a long and interesting history dating back to the end of the eighteenth century.
   Iolo Morganwg, an academic, originally from Llancarfan in Glamorgan, created the Gorsedd, and this happened on Primrose Hill, London in 1792. Iolo Morganwg believed that the fact that the culture and heritage of the Celts belonged to the Welsh was a fact which needed emphasising, and he believed that the creation of the Gorsedd was the perfect vehicle to reflect this.
   In 2009, a commemorative plaque was unveiled on Primrose Hill to celebrate Iolo Morganwg’s contribution and the creation of the Gorsedd of the Bards of the Isle of Britain.










   The first link between the Gorsedd and the Eisteddfod was in 1819 at the Carmarthen Eisteddfod, and since the creation of the National Eisteddfod in its current form in 1861, a strong and close relationship has developed, with the Gorsedd playing an important role in the Eisteddfod every year.

The Gorsedd Today

   Most members of the Gorsedd are poets, writers, musicians and artists, who either join when they win one of the Eisteddfod’s main competitions, sit an exam or when they are awarded a degree in Welsh or Music from a Welsh university.
   A number of people are also honored by the Gorsedd every year, to celebrate their contribution to Wales, and these include such notable people as Bryn Terfel, Tanni Grey-Thompson, Rhodri Morgan and Ioan Gruffudd.












   The Gorsedd also honours some people who have worked tirelessly for the National Eisteddfod through the years – often behind the scenes, and these individuals receive the same honour as our famous faces.
   New members are honoured in ceremonies held at the Gorsedd Stones on the Eisteddfod Maes on the Monday and Friday mornings of the festival week. These ceremonies are led by the Archdruid, who also leads the main ceremonies held on the Pavilion stage during the week. The Archdruid is elected for three years, and he is the Head of the Gorsedd of the Bards.












    For many, the Gorsedd processions through the Eisteddfod Maes are amongst the week’s highlights. These are held three times during the week following the main ceremonies held on the Pavilion stage.
   Monday is the Crowning Ceremony; on Wednesday, the Eisteddfod and the Gorsedd honours the winner of the Prose Medal, and the Chairing of the Bard ceremony is held on Friday. The Gorsedd escort the winning bard or writer – if there is a winner – from the Pavilion and around the Maes. This is an opportunity for the public to enjoy the splendour of the Gorsedd and congratulate the successful winner.

Celebrate 150

    In 2011, the modern day National Eisteddfod of Wales celebrates 150 years. Over the past century and a half, Wales has changed, and the Festival has developed, broadening its appeal in response to these changes over the years. Today’s National Eisteddfod is very different to the festivals of the 1860s, but its primary aim remains the same, to promote the language and culture of Wales.











   The National Eisteddfod is a travelling festival, visiting north and south Wales alternately, providing the whole of Wales with an opportunity to visit the festival locally every few years, creating an inclusive and welcoming environment, relevant to communities in different parts of Wales, and giving each festival an unique vibe and local feel, whilst retaining its national identity.
   Our 150th anniversary is an opportunity to celebrate the festival’s contribution to the cultural, economic, linguistic and community legacy of Wales, whilst looking to the future and at the way in which the festival will develop in years to come. Please join us on our journey and support us in celebrating Wales’ leading festival, the National Eisteddfod.

EISA FESTIVAL FROM OKINAWA, JAPAN!






   The throbbing beat of traditional drums will be heard across Okinawa beginning tomorrow, a dance celebration of Obon that fills the air with excitement and happiness amidst prayers for good health and a good harvest.
   Okinawa City is hosting what many bill as the largest Eisa festival on the island, the 53rd Island-wide Eisa Festival on a three-day run beginning tomorrow. The festival takes place at Koza Athletic Park and Track and Field Stadium, starting with a parade Friday at 7 p.m. The parade winds its way through Mutsumiga Oka Park, Koza Music Town and along Gate 2 Street.










   Eisa, an Okinawan ceremonial dance using drums, was originally performed to welcome and console the souls of one’s ancestors during the Summer ‘Bon’ season, but has evolved into community celebrations. Eisa festivals are a photographer’s dream, with the steady beat of various drums leading dances to multiple dynamic moves, while the colorful and exotic costumes get spectators caught up in the excitement.












   Okinawa City, which has generated countless famous Eisa teams over the years, has been hosting the Island-wide Eisa Festival since 1956, inviting Eisa groups from across the prefecture to participate. The festival comes the weekend after Obon holidays themselves.
   Festival admission is free, except for entrance to the main grandstand. S-seat reserved tickets are ¥2,000 in advance and ¥2,500 at the door. A-seat reserved tickets are ¥1,200 in advance, or ¥1,500 at the gate. B-seat tickets, which are actually standing room spaces in the grandstand, are ¥500 at the door. They are not reserved.










   Saturday entertainment at Koza Athletic Park begins at 7:15 p.m. with Okinawa City’s Noborikawa area young people, followed by Yamasato, Kubota and Goeku area teams. A Kachashii dance at 8:45 p.m. brings everyone together for the evening finale. Ceremonial presentations Sunday begin at 3 p.m., followed by a children’s performance.
   Eisa dance continues non-stop from 3:30 p.m. to 8:45 p.m., with performances by Okinawa City, Yomitan, Uruma City, Kadena Town, Ryukyukoku, Itoman, and Chatan groups. A Kachashii dance takes the evening toward a grand ending, with fireworks at 8:50 p.m.










   The Island-wide Eisa Festival is the granddaddy of festivals, events and exhibitions slated for this weekend, with a dozen other opportunities for people to get out and have fun. Anyone not finding recreation this weekend can only be labeled a ‘homebody’.
   Yoetsu-no Mori Park, Ishikawa, Uruma City is the venue Saturday for the free Ihijya Youth Eisa Festival, beginning at 6:30 p.m. The Okinawa Peace Memorial Park festival runs 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday at Okinawa Peace Memorial Park in Itoman City. Admission is free. Kadena Town is active Saturday, hosting the free Kadena Shin-machi Eisa Festival on Shimachi Street. Start time is 6 p.m. Uragahama Park in Heshiki Fishing Port is the setting Saturday for the Heshiki-ya Youth Eisa Festival. The free fun begins at 6 p.m.










   Two-day events start with Eisa Night at Koza Music Town in Okinawa City Saturday and Sunday. Events are free. Kunigami Village’s annual Kunigami Festival starts its weekend run Saturday at 2 p.m. at the Kunigami Middle School Grounds. At Camp Kinser, a free Flea Market takes place Saturday and Sunday, noon to 3 p.m. The Kumoji Summer Festival kicks off Saturday at 5 p.m. at Palette Kumoji Square in Naha City. Admission is free both Saturday and Sunday.










   An International Cat Exhibition kicks off Saturday at Ryubo Department Store’s 6th Floor Exhibition Hall, running until the 25th. Tickets are ¥700 for adults, while junior high school students and younger are ¥500. Entry is free to kids under three. Ryubo Department Store is located in Palette Kumoji, Naha City.










   Bullfighting takes center stage Sunday at Ishikawa Dome in Uruma City. Tickets for the 1 p.m. fights are ¥3,000. Motobu Handicraft Market runs 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.Sunday at the Motobu Market Square. Entry is free. Tomigusuku City stages its Town in the Air Sunday noon to 8 p.m. The fun occurs on the roof of the Tomiton Building in Toyozaki district.
For those who can’t get enough excitement across Okinawa, there’s  always the following  weekend. The big event ahead is the Eisa/Orion Beer Festival August 22nd ~ 24th.

Monday, August 21, 2017

THE PUCK FAIR, IRELANDS OLDEST FAIR!


 
 
 

Killorglin

   For communities like Killorglin to survive against the often overpowering commercial pressures imposed by their larger, urbanized neighbors it takes an inherent, deep seated tenacity. To say that the industrial and economic success of the town came about as a result of being ably represented politically, at the right time - is true - but only part of the overall picture. This train of thought displays an ignorance of how these market towns, strategically set down at cross-roads, not only survive against fierce odds but indeed thrive. A cursory glance at the history of any such town will reveal the growing pains and battle scars endured by generations to get us to where we are today.









   Rivers played a huge role in the establishment of trade centers and in Killorglin's case the Laune with its link and proximity to the well sheltered Castlemaine Harbour must have presented a very attractive location to the first travellers - commercial or otherwise. Political historians will recall the late Timothy Chub O'Connor extolling the virtues of his native patch and he painted a picture with the kind of infectious    enthusiasm that industrialists found impossible to ignore.









   The vibrancy of the community is marked by the ever increasing list of events sprinkled throughout the year and the world famous Puck Fair has been added to by festivals like the 'The Wild Flower of the Laune Vintage Harvest Festival' and the recently revived Head of the River Regatta. The mammoth, annual undertaking that is the pantomime is yet another of the great logistical wonders so crucial to the survival of the spirit of community involvement.

History/Origins

   The most widely mentioned story relating to the origin of King Puck, associates him with the English Ironside Leader Oliver Cromwell. It is related that while the "Roundheads" were pillaging the countryside around Shanara and Kilgobnet at the foot of the McGillycuddy Reeks, they routed a herd of goats grazing on the upland. The animals took flight before the raiders, and the he-goat or "Puck" broke away on his own and lost contact with the herd. While the others headed for the mountains he went










towards Cill Orglain (Killorglin) on the banks of the Laune. His arrival there in a state of semi exhaustion alerted the inhabitants of the approaching danger and they immediately set about protecting themselves and their stock.
   It is said that in recognition of the service rendered by the goat, the people decided to institute a special festival in his honour and this festival has been held ever since.
Other legends regarding the origin of "King Puck" relates to the time of Daniel O'Connell, who in 1808 was an unknown barrister. It seems that before that year, the August fair held in Killorglin had been a toll fair, but an Act of the British Parliament empowered the Viceroy or Lord Lieutenant in Dublin to make an order, at his own discretion, making it unlawful to levy tolls at cattle, horse or sheep fairs. Tolls in











Killorglin at this time were collected by the local landlord - Mr Harman Blennerhassett - who had fallen into bad graces with the authorities in Dublin Castle and as a result the Viceroy robbed him of his right to levy tolls. Blennerhassett enlisted the services of the young Daniel O'Connell, who in an effort to reverse the decision decided that goats were not covered by the document and that the landlord would be legally entitled to hold a goat fair, and levy his tolls as usual. Thus the fair was promptly advertised as taking place on August 10th, 1808, and on that day a goat was hoisted on a stage to show to all attending that the fair was indeed a goat fair - thus Blennerhassett collected his toll money and Killorglin gained a King.
   Whatever its origins, the fair has long been and continues to be the main social, economic and cultural event in the Killorglin Calendar. It is a time when old friends meet, when new friendships are forged and the cares of everyday living are put on hold.








 

1613 to Today

   There are many legends which suggest an origin for the Fair, many of which are wildly inventive, but there is no written record stating when the Fair started. It can however be traced back to a charter from 1603 by King James I granting legal status to the existing fair in Killorglin.
   It has been suggested that it is linked to pre-Christian celebrations of a fruitful harvest and that the male goat or "Puck" was a pagan symbol of fertility, like the pagan god Pan.









   The origins of the fair have thus been lost in the midst of antiquity, and various commissions set up over the past two hundred years have tried in vain to date them. Evidence suggests that the fair existed long before written record of everyday occurrences were kept as there is one written reference from the 17th Century in existence which grants Jenkins Conway, the local landlord at the time, the right to collect a sum for every animal brought to the August Fair. This would suggest that the Fair was something already well established in the local community.

MEDIEVEL WEEK FROM GOTLAND, SWEDEN!

The town of Gotland




Travel 600 years back in time

   During eight days in August the Middle Age is back. Gotland’s special settings, Visby’s 200 medieval houses on winding lanes, splendid church ruins, and the magnificent city wall frame a spectacle without equal.
   Markets and music, theater and lectures. Knights clash in tournaments. Medieval Week leaves no one unaffected. It is an unforgettable journey in time and space. Experience Medieval Week on Gotland. Discover history.
   Medieval Week 2011 takes place August 7th - 14th.


About Gotland
   Gotland, Sweden’s largest island, lies right in the middle of the Baltic.
   Its population is 58.000, a figure that doubles many times over during the summer, as Gotland is a much-loved destination for holidaymakers.
   The island’s biggest city, Visby, boasts one of the best preserved medieval ramparts anywhere in the world. Not surprisingly, Visby has been on UNESCO’s world heritage list since 1995. It also has more restaurants per capita than just about any city in Sweden, offering a wide range of culinary delights.











   The countryside, with its woodlands, bleak heaths and flowering meadows, is richly varied and hauntingly beautiful. Here, you’ll also find more than 90 medieval churches, ancient remains from the Viking period and any number of top-quality crafts studios. Along the almost 800 km coastline, gently shelving sandy beaches alternate with shingle shores and seaside meadows. The climate is mild, with many hours of sunshine and pleasantly warm autumns.


What is the Medieval Week?

      The Medieval Week is arranged annually on Gotland in the beginning of August.
   In the year of 2010 it will be held from Sunday the 8th to Sunday the 15th of August.
   Every year during one week in August, we blow life into history. The Medieval market gets into life in Gotlandsänget and Paviljongsplan, where stonemasons and smiths work alongside the clattering of horses’ hooves and bleating sheep.












   A week filled with color and events, including music, pageants and jousting tournaments. A huge variety of lectures and study courses are also held. A mixture of sobriety and merriment, education and festivities.
   The Medieval Week incorporates music, dance and theatre performed by many different artists and groups.
   You will find hair-raising mystery plays and amusing farces. There are guided walks around the Medieval town and its wall. You can walk around herb gardens or along the shore. There are many opportunities to learn more about the Middle Ages through a wide variety of courses, including Medieval crafts of various kinds, song and music, runes or even juggling, as well as the chance to attend various lectures.











   One of the highlights of the week is the Jousting Tournament. This spectacle brings to life the atmosphere of a Medieval tournament, where knights on horseback joust. You will also find a royal presence, archers, combatants, acrobats and Medieval markets. These tournaments have proved to be so popular that some are held as early as July, in Visby and in the countryside. A large number of other events of the Week also take place outside Visby in churches, museums etc.
   Medieval Week on Gotland is well-known by many. We can hear professional men and women refer to Medieval Week in radio programs, we can read about Gotland and Medieval Week in books and magazines. A couple of doctoral theses cover Medieval Week and its activities.    By how many know what Medeltidsveckan looks like from behind and how it is organized. Medeltidsveckan is run by an independent foundation with a small office at its disposal. Here a few dedicated persons work all year around to make sure that week 32 on Gotland becomes an experience to remember and to take home. The foundation was founded in 1994 by six founders: Gotlands kommun, Gotlands Fornvänner, Gotlands Turistförening, Gotlands Hembygdsförbund, Gotlands Bildningsförbund and Medeltidsgillet på Gotland.










   As important as the office that keeps Medieval Week together, are all the persons who volunteer before and during week 32. They are the reason this special week takes place. It is also the associations and companies that make it possible for the little extras to work.
   Something you learn when you have participated in Medieval Week over a few years is that there many things that have to fit in order for it all to function. Even the implementation of the smallest detail is a condition for the whole arrangement to be a success.




 
Wardrobe and baubles used during Medievel Week
 
 
 

History

Historical background to Medieval Week:

   Let’s go back to the summer of 1361 when Visby still was a powerful Hanseatic town with a surrounding wall, wealthy churches, monasteries and chapels.











   Warehouses with their stepped gables were clustered tightly along the main street Strandgatan, filled with luxurious goods brought by ship from far off countries.
   The streets and alleys were thronged with merchants, monks, servant girls, journeymen and beggars. Gotland belonged to Sweden which was at that time ruled by Magnus Eriksson. However, the island gave a strong impression of being its own realm, where there was distinct antagonism between the townspeople and the wealthy farmers. Valdemar Atterdag ruled Denmark.
   King Magnus was forced to cede the provinces Blekinge, Skåne and Halland in 1360. The large islands Gotland and Öland were also threatened.












    King Valdemar and his army landed on the west coast of Gotland on July 22, 1361. The Gotlandic farmers defended themselves bravely, but were finally overthrown in the great battle outside the gates of Visby, where 2000 men fell.
    The townspeople passively witnessed the farmers’ downfall. In exchange for Valdemar’s promise to retain its privileges, the town capitulated and opened its gates.
The Coat of Arms of Medieval WeekThe Medieval Week’s coat of arms was developed in 2005 and is today used for symbolism at ceremonial occasions.
   The heraldic symbolism of the coat of arms represents Medieval Week and Gotland at the same time. The two-part shield exemplifies the countryside and the city on Gotland, and also the connection between the two. Red and white are the colors of Gotland.

   The left part of the shield is adorned by a ram which has been recognized and acknowledged as the symbol of Gotland since medieval times. The numerous yellow crosses represent all the churches found on Gotland that through history have had so much importance for both city and countryside.
   The rose coat of arms on the right is inspired by Peder Harding’s coat of arms (Peter Harding was the Gotlandic chief who led the people of the countryside in the civil war of 1288). In addition the rose is the flower that symbolizes and is associated with Gotland, and especially with Visby.
   The coat of arms is designed by the heraldist Veljo Pärli.







 

The Soul of Medieval Week

   What entices thousands of visitors to come to Gotland and dress in medieval clothing?
   Young and old travel back 1000 years and live in the Medieval Age for a whole week on Gotland.
   Is the interest for this distant time period really serious or do we have a wish to escape from the present for a while, to dress in something foreign or different? To become a different person and fantasize about how life would have been for people in various situations, occupations and social connections.
   Medieval Week is carried out with high quality demands. All events shall be perceived as medieval and genuine, while the artistic creation of today also shall be found on the program – historical science and contemporary creativity in close association seems ideal to us!











   Medieval Week mixes high and low, just like medieval times, the heavenly and the worldly, advanced artistic achievements and a flowing selection of things and events. The mixture of styles, strong and unrestrained, is one of the phenomena that make the character of Medieval Week a real and authentic experience. That is also why we, year after year, meet visitors who faithfully - and enthusiastically – return