This year, the streets will once more come alive during the three day Hereford May Fair festival, starting on Tuesday 6 May.
Each year, thousands flock to the city centre, some from other counties, to enjoy the festival atmosphere, heart-stopping rides, side shows, food stalls, a myriad of entertainment and ancient ceremonies all of which make up the street extravaganza which is Hereford’s May Fair.
This year’s festival will see up to 200 showmen and women from around the country making their way to Hereford to prepare for the grand opening on Tuesday 6 May.
Abie Danter, chairman of the South Wales and Northern Ireland Section of The Showman’s Guild, said: “Once again we are proud to present Hereford’s annual May Fair, arriving on bank holiday Monday 5 May, when we start setting up at 6pm.
“A warm welcome awaits you when you join us at this historic and impressive traditional fun fair. Showmen from all over the UK will provide excitement, fun and laughter from riding the heart-stopping white knuckle rides to bumper to bumper fun and not forgetting the thrills of the children and traditional rides. From rides to stalls we have it all!”
The opening ceremony will commence at 3:45pm on Tuesday 6 May at Cathedral Close with a ceremonial offering of 12 and a half bushels of wheat made by the Mayor of Hereford to the Lord Bishop as payment for allowing the fair to proceed.
To ensure the smooth running of the festival, some of the city’s streets will be closed from Monday 5 May until the early hours of Friday 9 May.
Widemarsh Street (from the Maylord Street junction) and Bewell Street will be closed to traffic from 4:30pm to 11:00pm on the evenings of 6, 7 and 8 May, which will make High Street a safer pedestrian area for fair goers. Additionally the normal roads to be closed to traffic will be: Commercial Street, High Town, St Peters Street, St Owen Street, Broad Street (after the West Street and East Street junction), King Street and Bridge Street. There will also be some parking, loading and unloading areas closed in Union Street and in the above mentioned streets.
The southern end of Berrington Street will be made two way, between St Nicholas Street and Little Berrington Street and all of Gwynne Street will be two way. Motorists are asked to take extra care if using these amended routes. There may also be additional traffic congestion on St Martins Street where it joins the A49.
There will be advance warning signs in place on all routes leading towards the city centre advising of the forthcoming closures. However, as in previous years, diversion routes will not be signposted as there are simply too many options available, which would be too confusing for motorists and visitors.
All other city centre roads will operate as near to normal as possible and the council asks drivers to be patient and considerate during the week of the fair.
During the May Fair, there will be a number of large vehicles associated with the fair parked at Merton Meadow car park, which will reduce the number of available parking spaces for commuters and visitors.
Additionally, as some of the new retail stores will have opened on the old market development, along with some construction still taking place, it is expected to be a busy and well used location.
Where possible, please consider alternative forms of transport or use nearby car parks instead, such as Garrick multi storey. To find out more about alternative forms of transport visit the council’s Choose how you move page and for alternative car parks visit the Hereford city car parks page.