Hurrah for the Hobby Horse Festival!

editorial image

People’s Park was packed full today (Sunday) for Banbury’s popular annual Town Mayor’s Sunday and Hobby Horse festival.

The festivities kicked off with a parade led by town mayor Sean Woodcock from the town hall along High Street and North Bar to People’s Park.

The park was lined with stalls promoting charities and town organisations and selling food and drink.

Families gathered to enjoy a host of events including a performance by the Royal British Legion Shires Band, a boxing display by Dave Earle and members of the Spit ‘n’ Sawdust gym and a performance by pupils of the Sharon Green Dance Academy.

Then there were the infamous children and adult hobby horse races in which teams rode their wooden horses to compete against each other on the specially marked track track.

Many children also brought their own colourful hobby horses.

Cllr Woodcock said: “I think it’s a good mixture between modernity and the traditions of the town.

“The hobby horse represents the tradition of the Banbury nursery rhyme with a bright new modern twist to it.”

Nolan Wakelin who attended the event with his children Nikita, 2, and Nancy, 2, said: “It’s great at the moment. I’m enjoying it. It was greats for the kids to take part in the parade.”

Radio Horton also broadcast from the event as part of the station’s 50th anniversary celebrations.

Town Mayor’s Sunday started in 1997 when mayor Steve Kilsby celebrated his inauguration with a ‘party in the park.’ The Hobby Horse festival revives ancient traditions banned by the Puritans in the 17th century but revived ten years ago by enthusiasts.