An annual festival showcasing food and drink in County Armagh has been canceled due to ongoing industrial action by council workers.
The Armagh Food & Cider weekend was due to take place from September 8-11, with 30 events – including craft markets, tasting menus, banquets, cider tours and cooking demonstrations – planned.
Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council have confirmed the festival has been scrapped.
Tannaghmore Bird Fayre – which should have taken place this weekend – has also been cancelled.
Traders were told earlier that the Food & Cider Festival was in jeopardy.
They had been informed that the Urban Orchard Market at Shambles in Armagh on September 10 and the Sundown Market at Solitude Park, Banbridge on September 9 would not take place.
A letter from the board said the decision to cancel had been made “with great regret” and was “due to ongoing industrial action and resulting staff shortages”.
He added that anyone who has already paid for their stand will be automatically refunded “within seven working days”.
The board apologized “for any inconvenience it has caused”.
A trader, who did not wish to be named, said it was a joke to cancel it at the last minute.
“I’m lucky because I didn’t buy stock for this, but I’m sure there are plenty of traders who have. It’s very annoying for anyone who was hoping to trade in the events” , did he declare.
The event, which is organized by Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council, was billed as Northern Ireland’s biggest food and harvest festival, and was returning in full force after a pandemic-related hiatus.