Council backs Sham fight event in Scarva

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The annual Sham fight at Scarva has been given finanical support from Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon Council and Tourism NI for this year’s event.

The finanical assistance comes as local government and statutory agencies back the event, which attracts 100,000 people every year to see a major procession and a re-enactment of the Battle of the Boyne.

With the support the Sham fight is set to make some changes to the big day in Scarva, on Wednesday, July 13, with more emphasis to be placed on explaining its background.

The Sham fight is now recognised as a unique cultural event in the Northern Ireland calendar and it is the biggest one-day event at a single location in Northern Ireland.

The Sham Fight, which is organised by RBP 1000 who are based in Scarva, will see 4,000 members of the Royal Black Institution and 90 bands will be on parade through the village.

The RBP 1000 Worshipful Master Sandy Heak explained the work that goes into organising the event.

“We start work on the Sham Fight the week after the previous one has taken place,” he said.

“It is an incredible team effort and many long hours and nights are put into sorting out everything that happens.

“I suppose you could say that it takes over your life.

“Our aim is simple. We want to give the 100,000 people who come to see it a memorable day out for all the family.

“There is pageantry, history, music and of course a strong Christian ethos which is at the heart of the Royal Black Institution.

“We could not do it without the support of various agencies and I want to place on record our sincere thanks to those who have already come on board.”

The Sovereign Grand Master of the Royal Black Institution, Millar Farr, said the Sham Fight was developing into a ‘must see’ event and .

“There is something magical about the Sham Fight,” he said.

“I would urge people who have not come to see it to make a date in their diary.

“It really is a day out for all the family and I have no doubt first-time visitors will come back.

“In fact, our biggest problem is the sheer number of people who come along, but that is a problem worth having nowadays.”

In the past decade, the Royal Black Institution has raised £500,000 for a range of charities.

Macmillan Cancer Support is the designated charity this year and a team of collectors will be at the Sham Fight.

All proceeds will go to the institution’s appeal fund.