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Hot food vans among banned traders for this year’s Georgian Day

Hot food vans and tea and coffee stalls are among those which will be banned from selling their goods during this year’s Georgian Day celebrations in the city, Armagh I can reveal.

Strict regulations are being laid down this year about what can and cannot be sold, and only one, and possibly two, stalls will be allowed to sell the same type of goods.

Applications made from multiple sellers looking to trade in the same type of goods will lead to the successful candidate simply being drawn out of a hat.

This year’s Georgian Day will take place on Saturday, November 29.

The logic behind barring hot food outlets and tea and coffee stalls is to preserve trade for city centre cafes.

The moves came to light during recent discussions on the issue at Armagh City and District Council’s executive committee.

It was also pointed out, in response to an enquiry from Sinn Fein Councillor Mary Doyle, that processed burgers are also off the menu as ingredients had to be locally sourced.

UUP Councillor Sylvia McRoberts remarked that this was an annual event and it was important to get the right mix of stalls and to include crafts etc.  She didn’t want to see the area being taken up by burger vans.

The council has now agreed to an official Georgian Day City Centre Stallholder Policy.

It aims to ensure that the stalls that form part of the city centre offering on Georgian Day are of high quality, appropriate to the event, present a good range of goods and support existing trade.

The policy has been developed to assist in the application assessment process and designed to clearly lay out the requirements for acceptance as a stallholder and ensure that the assessment of stall applications is based on published criteria.

It is the intention to make a call for applicants as soon as possible, with a closing date for applications on Friday, September 26.

Georgian Day Armagh includes craft stalls, food stalls and a few demonstrations and workshops. Anyone may apply to take a stall at the Georgian Day to sell a food or craft product or to provide a demonstration or a workshop, or all three.

Now in its 11th Year, Georgian Dayh is a well established event with approximately 30,000 visitors attending last year.

Georgian Day will run from 10am to 8pm and successful stall applicants can set up between 7am and 8.30am, with arrival slots and directions allocated a week before the event.

All prospective food retailers must be registered with their local authority Environmental Health Department, while existing retailers within the city centre with products that fit the criteria will get first preference for stalls.

All food or drink offered for sale must be grown, reared, caught, brewed, picked, baked, smoked or processed by the stall holder. Processed foods must have been made in Northern Ireland using local ingredients wherever possible. In case of competition, priority will be given to those products which contain the higher proportion of local ingredients.

In its new policy, the council reports that healthy competition is good for the city, but the objective of the event is to complement and enhance the offering provided by traders in the city.

The council will prioritise products with a Christmas/Georgian  Theme and refuse products “not in keeping with the character of the city or the event”.

These could include:

Products with a sexual content;

Trailer vehicles;

Hot drinks eg tea and coffee;

Fast food eg chips, processed burgers, processed hot dogs;

Cleaning products;

Products promoting the use of drugs or tobacco related products;

Branded or mass produced products found in local supermarkets and shops, including household items, makeup, toys and health products; 

Knives and other weaponry;

Canned or branded drinks, chocolate, sweets and crisps.

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