The Voorschoten Horse-Fair takes place annually on the 28th of July in the village centre. Various activities will be organised such as pony rides, demonstrations, a fair, a horse-tram, music and a short track trotting race.
The Voorschoten annual fair is a so called free market (vrijmarkt) which has existed for 800 years. The official market rights were granted by the Dutch Earl Floris V in 1282. In late Medieval times, the Voorschoten fair was already an event of importance with its great variety of cattle and poultry and a market where products such as salt and medicinal herbs were traded.
Since 1812, the market is held on July 28. It is no coincidence that this Horse-Fair takes place at the end of the hay month July: at this time, the hay had been harvested and so, by that time, people found they had no use for a second horse. The extra horses could be sold to producers of arable crops who were still to harvest in the Autumn. Travelling gypsies and showmen also gladly purchased the superfluous horses. In the 19th century, many such horses were sold for the mining business.
Date: July 28, 2012