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The Banbury Michaelmas Fair

Banbury prepares for magic of fair.

Banbury is preparing to be swathed in bright lights and sweet delights when the Michaelmas Fair returns next week.

The historic event will be officially opened at 4pm on Wednesday, 18 October when the giant Golden Key is presented to the town by a member of the Wilson family, who own the fair. Cherwell District Council chairman Cllr Maurice Billington and Banbury Town 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.”

Cllr Clarke said:

“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.”

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.

The fair will start setting up in Banbury on Tuesday, 17 October and be primarily located in Horsefair, North Bar, Market Place and Bridge Street. It will run from 4pm on Wednesday, 18 October until late on Friday, 20 October, opening at midday on the Thursday and Friday.

Road and car park closures will be in effect from Tuesday, 17 October until the fair departs. Banbury market will not operate on Thursday, 19 October but will return as normal on Saturday, 21 October.


Poem about Banbury Fair by Beverley Coleman.

Banbury Fair By Beverley Coleman


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