After the success of last year’s Bonamh Market, the traders of Rush Street are delighted to announce that it will be on again on Saturday August 22 in Rush Street, Castlebar. The event is being run in conjunction with Mayo Heritage Week and the organisers are joining up with Déanta I Maigh Eo to showcase the best of Mayo made products.
Last year, the Bonamh Market brought back to life, for one day, the traditional pig market that used to take place in this street every Saturday years ago. In those times, men and women, sometimes children, would come to Rush St and sell their pigs, calves, cabbage, etc. This market was very much a part of Castlebar and many great characters passed through there. Again this year the traders of the street will relive this part of Castlebar’s past. The characters will be back again with their wares, with the street set up like a market. The forge will be there along with a thatcher, basket weaver, food stalls, etc.
The centrepiece will be a pig on the spit. There will be musicians playing on bales of hay, dancers dancing, and plenty of fun to make this a great day out for everyone. Macra Na Feirme will be in attendance and they will have plenty of novelty games with a farming twist for all to try out. There will be face painters, bouncy castles, Elvery’s football challenge, and a display of old cars, old tractors, and farm machinery. To extend the fun, there will be events in the evening.
For the first time ever in Castlebar, the committee will host the Bonamh Market Piggy Grand Prix. This is an evening of fun pig racing. It is run like a traditional race night, except specially trained pigs will be running, or more like trotting, instead of virtual horses. Many towns have this during the summer, but this is Castlebar’s first time. Pigs are available to buy at €30 each in any of the six pubs on the street. Groups of four and five can chip in to own one, and pick a name and even the jockey’s name. After all the excitement of this evening race meeting, there will be music on the street until 11.30pm.
There will also be a busking competition during the day with €150 in prizes sponsored by McDermott House Furnishers. All street performers are welcome. One of the hits from last year was the appearance of the Garda Mounted Unit and they will be here again this year.
The market dates way back and Castlebar locals remember it fondly. One source says Rush Street is so called because rushes were spread on the road to absorb the droppings of the animals. The calf market was centered around the Rush St/Charles area long after the original fairs ended. The Bonamh market was intermingled with the calf market.