Bo’ness has a lot of history and one of the most vibrant things that we can never forget is the Bo’ness Fair. For many years the Fair has grown. You would have thought eventually it would die off but no, Bo’ness’ spirits keep rising every year unlike some other Galas and Fairs. This day all started a long time ago in the 18th century when miners worked every day and never got a break. They even had to work on their birthday and Christmas. Then a man said “why don’t we let these underprivileged miners have a day out of the pits to get drunk and party!” They called it the Fair. Fortunately it was settled that it was the last Friday in June each year. It was later changed to Bo’ness Children’s Fair Festival.
Participating in the Fair for the first time was so exciting. Due to the fact that everyone says the Fair is amazing I had high expectations. It was clear to me I was going to have one of the most memorable days ever but I didn’t know what to expect. I imagined the Queen sashaying up the stairs, her beautiful dress flowing in the wind and the Champion looking so official and smart. I was picked to be a Presentee and our theme was Glam Rock. I couldn’t wait to be on stage with the Retinue and all the other children taking part.
Many weeks before, we started to learn the Fair songs. Singing the songs created a buzz with the children and teachers around the school. Learning the dance was super fun but the Presentee routine was very tiring. Our outfits were exquisite and decorative and made especially for us and we also got our own “air guitars”. The girl’s outfits were pink and blue satin and super cute. My guitar was pink too. We also got really sweet bracelets to wear on the day. The boys got a guitar necklace. As our theme was glam rock and the 70s, we danced to some pretty tremendous music.
We learned our dance in a flash and time was passing really quickly. The Fair was right around the corner. The night before the Fair is called the Fair E’en. This is where people look at the arches and have little parties in their houses. Looking at the arches is always fun, my arch was shared with my sister. It wasn’t as big and bold as some others but it was strong on the artistic and imaginative side. We also had a little party for our family and friends, the adults had the excuse to have a drink, just the same as the miners did in the olden days.
After the party, we went to bed knowing it was going to be a mammoth day in the morning. We needed a lot of sleep, but guess what, I got none! I was ecstatic on the Fair morning, butterflies in my stomach were playing ping pong. The sun rose on a glowing day and it was all go. With my costume and hair done, we were ready to go. We got to the school and took some awesome pictures with all my friends. Suddenly it was Showtime (not really) we rehearsed the routine in school for our families to see. Our feet moved to the beat of the music, we glided and twirled. I felt really pleased and chuffed that if I can do that, I could perform in front of the whole of Bo’ness. Next we walked to the Town Hall in Glebe Park. The streets were overflowing with animated people dressed to the nines. We then watched the crowning ceremony from the side of the stage. I watched it but I was too thrilled to really take it in. Our school name was called and we strutted up with our 70s vibe and the tune started up. We did exactly what we did in the school but we put our heart and soul into it 100%. It was quite disappointing when the music finished, I wanted it to go on forever.
After the exhausting dance we still had a 3 mile walk through the streets of Bo’ness to do. We walked and walked , but it was all worth it when we reached our final destination at Douglas Park. We got juice and crisps. At night I climbed into bed absolutely shattered but glad I had been part of a really amazing day.
By Lois P6 Bo’ness Public School
WINNER OF THE HELEN WARD-BIRKBY TROPHY 2015