Belfast Telegraph

Pictured: Thousands take in the action at the Scarva Sham Fight

By Christine Carrigan

Upwards of 100,000 visitors have made their way to the quaint Co Down village of Scarva 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. This year John Adair has reprised his role as William of Orange and King James is being played by John Cairns.

It is 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.

Thursday's event was hosted by the Sir Knight Alfred Buller Memorial RBP 1000, and 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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