Banbury is preparing to be swathed in bright lights and sweet delights when the Michaelmas Fair returns this week.
The historic event will be officially opened at 4pm on Wednesday (October 18), when the giant Golden Key is presented to the town by a member of the Wilson family, which owns the fair.
Cherwell District Council chairman Cllr Maurice Billington and Banbury mayor Cllr Colin Clarke will then tour around the fairground, granting a free turn on any ride which is touched by the key.
Cllr Billington said: “It will be a great honour to open Banbury’s longest-running and most famous event.
“Four hundred years of tradition have not dimmed its popularity and it will be wonderful to see the community come together for some fun and good-hearted frivolity.”
Brave thrillseekers will be able to test their nerves on rides like the waltzers and Superbowl.
For younger children there will be the merry-go-round, carousel and cup and saucers, and those with a sweet tooth will be able to indulge in traditional treats like candy floss and toffee apples.
Cllr Clarke added: “Whether you’re young, or just young at heart, the Michaelmas Fair has rides, games and food to entertain and lift the spirits.
“Generations of Banbury residents have made life-long memories amongst the happy crowds and it will be a pleasure to be a part of this year’s festivities.”
The fair will start setting up in Banbury on Tuesday and be primarily located in Horsefair, North Bar, Market Place and Bridge Street.
It will run from 4pm on Wednesday until late on Friday, opening at midday on the Thursday and Friday.
Road and car park closures will be in effect from Tuesday until the fair departs.
Banbury market will not operate on Thursday but will return as normal on Saturday.