About Country Comes to Town
During 1998/1999 street unrest and sectarian clashes in Portadown Town Centre on Saturday afternoons were common place. Much negative publicity was generated and the image of Portadown was tarnished.
Mervyn Carrick, then Mayor of Craigavon, was determined to address the deteriorating sectarian environment and using his community development connections enlisted the help of the Birches Community Association and the Birches Vintage and Classic Car Club.
Having gained experience in promoting vintage rallies and developing projects in the rural area the Mayor invited members of BCA & BVCCC to stage a vintage rally in the Centre of Portadown with a view to squeezing out the unruly sectarian element.
In face of much scepticism an organising committee set about the daunting task of giving Portadown town centre a rural transplant on the third Saturday in September 1999 and thanks to the hard work of many rural volunteers and the financial backing of Craigavon Borough Council a rural culture festival was born.
The original concept of a vintage rally in an urban setting has evolved into a massive rural culture festival with hundreds of participants displaying vintage exhibits, demonstrating old rural crafts and cultural heritage.
In addition live animals - horses, sheep, cattle, pigs and poultry - provide an exciting attraction for upwards of 40,000 people who throng the town centre.
The country scene is further embellished with the provision of live country music throughout the town creating an ideal atmosphere for young and old alike irrespective of class or creed to mingle in a non-threatening environment.
Country Comes To Town has now assumed a life of its own and has established itself as a flagship event in Craigavon and a much acclaimed family orientated event in the Northern Ireland calendar of prestigious festivals.
Country Comes To Town is now synonymous with Portadown and represents the true image of a prosperous and peaceful community at ease with itself ensuring that all roads lead to Portadown in the third week of September each year.
Support Stewards Needed
Readers please note that "Country Comes to Town" is always on the look out for extra helpers; in particular, we need more stewards to assist our management on the Heritage Saturday events. So if f anyone would like to become involved in any way in the activities of "Country Comes To Town" they are invited to leave their name, address and telephone number with the receptionist at Millennium Court Arts Centre in William Street. Telephone number 02838394415. Or contact Bryan on 07927963092 or John on 07733417540
Something for everyone at the festival
The listed attractions and activities are just a small part of what's being planned for 'Country Comes To Town' in September 2016.
CCTT will make sure that the Press kept well-informed about what we're planning. And our website for 2016 is currently becoming operational with more information about our plans. One thing we can guarantee however is that there will be something for everyone to enjoy, to marvel over, to learn from and to remember.
|Thank you to all our sponsors.