Belfast Telegraph

Over 100,000 visitors expected for Sham Fight in Scarva

By Christine Carrigan

The King Billy of Scarva's Sham Fight has now reigned twice as long as his historic counterpart. Upwards of 100,000 visitors are expected to invade the quaint Co Down village to see John Adair's William of Orange once again vanquish his Boyne rival, King James.

Despite the foregone conclusion, Scarva's annual Sham Fight is the biggest one-day event, at a single location, anywhere in Northern Ireland. John Adair will reprise his role as William of Orange and King James will be played by John Cairns.

It will be the 26th year that Adair has played William III - double the length of time the monarch reigned as King of England, Scotland and Ireland.

The two kings will be accompanied by a procession of soldiers in period dress through the village of Scarva.

At the top of the field where the re-enactment is staged, is the chestnut tree where King William tied his horse on the way to the Battle of the Boyne and where his troops rested.

The event, which starts at 1.30pm, is hosted by the Sir Knight Alfred Buller Memorial RBP 1000. Its members have raised nearly £700,000 for various good causes since 2002.

Sovereign Grand Master of the Royal Black Institution Millar Farr said: "It is amazing such a large-scale re-enactment and parade is organised on a yearly basis by a small team of volunteers.

"I pay tribute to the members of RBP 1000 who deserve to be commended for their ingenuity and commitment."

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