Banbury’s Michaelmas Fair officially opens at 4pm


A free turn will be granted on any ride which is touched by the golden key

After a year away because of the pandemic, Banbury’s famous Michaelmas Fair is back and ready to bathe the town centre in bright lights and sweet treats.   The fair starts at 4pm this afternoon and runs until late on Friday evening.

The three day event will be officially opened when a giant golden key is presented to the town by the Wilson family, who own the fair.

Upon receiving the key, Councillor Phil Chapman, Cherwell District Council’s Lead Member for Sport and Leisure and Banbury Town Mayor Councillor Shaida Hussain will grant a free turn on any ride which is touched by the key.

Cllr Chapman said: “The Michaelmas Fair has been a key date in local people’s diaries for hundreds of years. Last year it was postponed, for what must have been the first time in many a decade, because of COVID. I am sure the anticipation will be greater than ever this year!

“It is a chance for revelry, for the community to come together, and for young people to form happy memories. We warmly invite everyone to enjoy the magic of the fair.”

The fair will bring the usual array of food stalls, games and rides. Visitors can enjoy traditional treats including candy floss and toffee apples or try to win a prize on stalls including the coconut shy or hook-a-duck.

Young people looking to enjoy the rides can sample the merry-go-round, carousel or cup and saucers, while thrill seekers can brave bigger rides including the Miami, superbowl or waltzers.

The fair can be found in Horsefair, North Bar, Market Place and Bridge Street.   This means the usual Thursday market will not be in town this week.

As usual Cherwell’s street scene and street cleansing teams will jump into action as soon as the fair leaves late on Friday night, ensuring the town is spic-and-span for Saturday morning.   It will cap off a busy period for the teams, who last week helped bring a thrilling and memorable stage of the Women’s Tour cycling race to the town.

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