All the fun of the fair will come back to town again

Pictured - Rachel Allen and Ellie Claridge from BGN School enjoy last year's Banbury Fair.
Pictured - Rachel Allen and Ellie Claridge from BGN School enjoy last year's Banbury Fair.

THE bright lights and sounds of fairground attractions will take over Banbury next week with the return of the annual Michaelmas Fair.

Every year thousands of people descend on the town centre from across Banburyshire for the event, which will get under way next Wednesday, (October 17) at 4pm.

For three nights people can enjoy rides such as Hook-a-Duck, Froggit and the Waltzers and as has become tradition, the honour of opening the fair will be bestowed upon Banbury Town Mayor Tony Ilott when he receives the giant ‘golden key’ from the fair’s owner, William Wilson.

Mr Ilott, who spoke out against the town centre location of the fair three years ago, believes despite the strain put on businesses during the event, it is still popular with people in the town.

He said: “Despite speaking as a business owner against the location of the fair few years ago, as the Mayor of Banbury I do accept that the majority of people do enjoy the yearly attraction of the fun fair.

“It is a good opportunity for parents and older people to relive something from their childhood.

“Both myself and Colin Clarke, the chairman of Cherwell District Council, will be walking around the fair as it opens but as I am on my sponsored diet for Dogs for the Disabled I will have to resist the candy floss, toffee apples and brandy snaps that are associated with the fair.”

The three-day Michaelmas Fair has been an annual tradition in Banbury more than 400 years, running from Wednesday afternoon until late on Friday night.

Rides big and small will be all around the town centre including Horse Fair, North Bar and all through Market Place next to Castle Quay shopping centre.Road closures will be in place in and around the town centre, including Bridge Street.

The fair was traditionally where people used to go to gain employment.