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Royal Shrovetide Football
From: 2014.02.21 To: 2014.02.22
Each year on Shrove Tuesday and Ash Wednesday, Ashbourne becomes a war zone! The majority of the ablebodied men, women and children take to the streets to play what is probally the largest football game in the world. The two teams (north side vs. south side) number in the hundreds and the playing field is 3 miles long, 2 miles wide and has the town of Ashbourne in the middle. Shops are boarded up and only an idiot (or an unsuspecting visitor!) would park his or her car anywhere in the town. The origin of this game is lost in the mists of time, but it is thought to date from Elizabethan times. The game starts each day at 2 pm when the ball is "turned up" in the Shaw Croft Carpark (behind the supermarkets in the town centre). The game then lasts until 10 pm. If a goal is scored before 6 pm, then a new ball is "turned up" again and a new game started. If the goal is after 6 pm then the game ends for that day. Needless to say - the pubs remain open all day during the game.