Unusual festivals- World Gurning championship

Tuesday 11th September 2012 | Annalisa


America has Miss United States. England has the World Gurning championships. The perfect equivalent to a preened beauty contest because let’s face it, England isn’t exactly the best-looking of all countries.

But pretty faces aren’t needed for this annual festival held in the Egremont Crab Fair in Cumbria. In fact, a pretty face wouldn’t get you anywhere other than to the bottom of the list. On the third Saturday of September every year, contestants take it in turn to stick their head between a horse collar and gurn or pull the least attractive face they know. As the title suggests, the winner is the contestant who looks the most unsightly or holds the greatest gurn. The current World Gurning champion is Tommy Mattison who has held his title for four years. Well done Tommy, great achievement there. The festival also includes a smoking pipe race and a race up a greasy pole, just in case you want to go and that is your thing.


Tamsin Wressell