THREE acres of turnips were planted on Manx National Heritage’s land at Cregneash this year.
The aim was for the crop to grow big enough for children to carve into lanterns for the annual Hop-tu-Naa celebrations in the village.
But heavy rain and little sunshine means those turnips that have grown can only be used as winter feed for the Loaghtan sheep on the site.
Hop-tu-Naa celebrations will go ahead as planned, but this year, instead of children being given a free turnip to carve, visitors are asked to bring along their own raw materials.
Cregneash farm manager Peter Kelly said: ‘We haven’t seen the summer yet. Turnips need sunshine to grow and less water than this! A lot of crops have failed and done miserably, not just turnips.’
Cregneash site manager Anita Hogarth said: ‘We have the tools but just no turnips, so we are urging visitors to get creative this year and turn up with their own turnips or vegetable to carve into a lantern – squashes, fodder beets or potatoes, anything goes this year.
‘But don’t worry if you don’t find your own alternative vegetable to carve, local green grocers have sourced turnips from Ireland and we will have them to sell for £1.25 each.’
Celebrations at Cregneash take place on Saturday and Sunday, 10am to 5pm.
There will also be live music, the Hop-tu-Naa song and dance, cookery demonstrations, storytelling and craft activities under cover. The grand lantern parade will be led by the musicians through the village at 4pm.
A hog roast and Hop-tu-Naa shop will be on offer. Apple Orphanage, the farmers’ market and Cast a Spell face paints will join Saturday’s events.
Hop-tu-Naa Express packages include train, bus transfer and entry to Cregneash (£15 per adult and £5 per child). Tickets are available from the Welcome Centre, call 662525.
Alternatively visitors can take a spooky ride on an open top bus with Mann Sightseeing Tours, Call 464017 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Overflow parking will be at Scoill Phurt le Moirrey car park, with a shuttle bus transfer.
Other Hop-tu-Naa events include ‘Ghost Trains to the Castle of the Cursed in Castletown’ on Friday and Saturday. Tickets (£22) are available from the Welcome Centre in the Sea Terminal, Douglas.
A new Giant’s Trail is launching for children at the Manx Museum, Douglas on Saturday.
And tickets are on sale for a three-course mhelliah supper at Niarbyl on October 31, with entertainment from Shenanigans Banned. Call 843300.
At Hop-tu-Naa (Halloween), Manx children have traditionally gone house to house with turnip (or, in dialect, moot) lanterns singing a song featuring Jinnie the Witch in return for sweets or money.
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Weather for Isle of Man
Saturday 25 May 2013
Temperature: 7 C to 13 C
Wind Speed: 12 mph
Wind direction: South
Temperature: 10 C to 13 C
Wind Speed: 23 mph
Wind direction: South