All the fun of the fairs in Oxford and across Oxfordshire

Funfairs in Oxford and across Oxfordshire

All the funfairs in Oxford and across Oxfordshire

Funfairs have been a fixture of the life of in Oxford and across Oxfordshire for hundreds of years.

St Giles’ Fair in Oxford is one of the greatest and most prestigious in the country - dating back to 1625 when it was a parish festival to celebrate the feast of the patron saint, St Giles. It is held on the Monday and Tuesday following the first Sunday after St Giles’ Day (01 September).

Across Oxfordshire’s towns, the historic street fairs have origins in the shortage of labour following the Black Death of 1348/9. The fairs were a hiring fair, the equivalent of today’s employment agencies and online job websites.

During what used to be known as the Mop Fair, local tradesmen, craftsmen, labourers, farmers and servants came into town to look for new employment.

Back in those days, seasonal employment ran from October to October, so everyone came into town with high hopes of gaining a new employer and securing their income for the year ahead.

Abingdon Michaelmas Fair

Abingdon Michaelmas Fair 2021

03 & 04 October
Abingdon Town Centre

Abingdon Michaelmas Fair takes place on the first Monday and Tuesday of October from noon to 11.00pm on both days. The Michaelmas Fair is the longest street fair in Europe, running from Market Place, through the High Street, The Square and the entire length of Ock Street.

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Banbury Michaelmas Fair

Banbury Michaelmas Fair 2021

13 to 15 October
Banbury Market Place

The Banbury Michaelmas fair has been a fixture of the life of the town for hundreds of years. The fair was a hiring fair, the equivalent of today’s employment agencies and online job websites during what used to be known as the Mop Fair, when local tradesmen, craftsmen, labourers, farmers and servants came into town to look for new employment.

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St Giles’ Fair at Oxford City Centre

St Giles’ Fair 2022

05 & 06 September 2022
St Giles’, Oxford

St Giles’ Fair is one of the greatest and most prestigious in the country. The fair dates back to 1625 when it was a parish festival to celebrate the feast of the patron saint, St Giles, and is held on the Monday and Tuesday following the first Sunday after St Giles’ Day (01 September).

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Witney Feast, The Leys, Witney, Oxfordshire

Witney Feast 2022

12 & 13 September 2022
The Leys, Witney

The Witney Feast will take place on Monday 12 and Tuesday 13 September at its historic home on The Leys, Witney, with the traditional Golden Gallopers service on the evening of Sunday 11 September 2022. Star Flyer, Space, Superstar, Extreme, Jumping Frogs, Dominator, Stargate. These are all rides that you are likely to encounter at Witney Feast in 2022.

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Thame Fun Fair

Thame Fun Fair 2022

15 to 17 September 2022
Thame Town Centre

Don’t miss the annual funfair that transforms Thame’s High Street for three days in September into a mini theme park with rides, bumper cars and candyfloss. The fair starts on the third Thursday of September, with the Mayor of Thame officially opening the event at 4.00pm.

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