Ever woke up in the morning, stared in the mirror and gasped in horror? For some of us, all it takes is a bad morning to go from a bright-eyed charming protagonist to looking like something you might find in a tacky halloween store. But it’s not all bad right? Who doesn’t love to pull an ugly face now and then (or all the time in my case)? It entertains kids and frightens the eldery. What’s not to love? Well there’s one place in the world that loves making ugly faces so much, they named the art, “Gurning” and made a World Championship out of it. Not only that, but this has been going on since 1267!!! The place? Egremont in Cumbria, Northern England.
The Egremont Crab Fair
The World Gurning Championships are only a single event in the greater Egremont Crab Fair. (That’s “Crab” for Crab-Apples, not the crustacean). There are really no words to describe this eccentric and truly unique celebration. This is definitely one of most interesting and memorable experiences of my life. Now I’m not here to give a history lesson on the thing, but I will tell you that it seems like many of the events like the fancy dress wheelbarrow race, pipe smoking competition, greasy pole climbing, horn blowing, and the myriad of animal races (ponies, terriers, and ferrets) have been added on over the years and no one seems to know why. Not ones to shun tradition, the Egremont locals participate proudly.
Any good celebration has food, but in Egremont they make SURE you are well fed by literally throwing apples at you. Now I’m sure technically these merry-makers aren’t intentionally aiming for bystanders’ heads, but… I did see a few solid peltings. Pretty hilarious. Even I took an apple to the back of the head, which really got me into the spirit of the occasion.
I have absolutely no idea what is going on
I love it. The fairs I had as a kid were so boring compared to this.
The Ugliest Face in the World!
Remember that beautiful face up top? That was my entry into the World Gurning Championships. The rules are simple: put a horse collar around your neck and make the ugliest face possible. The greater the transformation, the higher your score. (Being absolutely ridiculous helps a lot too). The finals were broken down between juniors, women, and men. And I’ll tell you, I had no chance. There were some HEAVY HITTERS in this competition… I’d have more pics if they didn’t have a strict “no unauthorized photos” policy. Just type “gurning” into Google. Trust me. It’s amazing. Oh and by the way, my girlfriend landed 3rd place in Women’s Gurning. I’m so proud.
The World Gurning Championships at the Egremont Crab Fair… would I go again? Oh yes. But next time, I must bring a group of the very best gurners; the sting of defeat is still fresh.
What about you? Do you think you have what it takes to be Gurning World Champ?
For more info: http://www.egremontcrabfair.com