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Laura Walker with children Ilaria and Kit get a balloon from Ken Gillett of Sweet Celebrations in Church Lane.
Laura Walker with children Ilaria and Kit get a balloon from Ken Gillett of Sweet Celebrations in Church Lane.

Banbury old town party brings a fiesta of fun.

Banbury’s old town came alive on Saturday as shoppers joined a massive street party that brought back the busy days of yesteryear.

Shops, pubs and restaurants in Parson’s Street, Church Lane, Church Walk, White Lion Walk and Market Place joined in the fun as the Old Town Summer Fiesta and Street Organ Festival got underway.

Steel drums and a jazz band provided music for dancing – while face painting, balloon modelling, mask-making and children’s workshops added to the fun.

Banbury Presents Team today who brought all their biggest fabulous fiesta vibes for Banbury’s The Old Town Party.

Free giveaways, street entertainers and a variety of stalls selling food and drink completed the attractions.

The event was organised to highlight the smaller, individual traders in the old streets who offer personal service and sell merchandise ‘with a difference.’

Street organists from around the country provided background music and collected cash for the mayor’s fund – money that is divided between charities in Banbury at the end of the mayoral year.

Mayor Colin Clarke samples takes a Thai lunch from the Siam House restaurant served by Sunan Charoenwit Worakit.
Mayor Colin Clarke samples takes a Thai lunch from the Siam House restaurant served by Sunan Charoenwit Worakit.

Mayor Cllr Colin Clarke said:

“I remember when Parson’s Street, High Street, Market Place and Church Lane were the town’s main shopping areas. That was before supermarkets, shopping centres and out-of-town retail parks.

“I hope some of the people who perhaps ‘discovered’ the old town at the fiesta will continue to use the shops, pubs and restaurants on a regular basis.

“I’d like to thank the street organists who came from far and wide to raise money for local charities. They, too, are a reminder of years gone by.”

The event was organised by Banbury Town Council and the Old Town Association and sponsored by Cherwell District Council, Castle Quay and Your Letterbox magazine.

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