Heart-stopping rides, side-shows, food stalls and ancient ceremonies are all part of the street extravaganza which is Hereford’s May Fair.
The streets come alive during the three-day festival each year as thousands flock into the city centre, some from other counties, to enjoy the festival atmosphere and myriad of entertainment.
Up to 200 showmen and women from around the country will make their way to Hereford to prepare for the May 5th, grand opening.
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 Bank Holiday Monday, May 4th when we start setting up from 6pm”.
“A warm welcome waits when you join us at this historic and impressive traditional fun fair. Showmen from all over the UK will give excitement, fun and laughter from riding the heart-stopping white knuckles machines to bumper to bumper fun, not forgetting the thrills of the children and traditional rides. From rides to stalls we have it all, including some new attractions for 2015!”
The Opening Ceremony is at 3.45pm on the Tuesday, May 5th at Cathedral Close. A ceremonial offering of 12-and-a-half bushels of wheat is made by the Mayor to the Lord Bishop as payment for allowing the fair to proceed.
To ensure the smooth running of the festival, some of the city streets will be closed from Monday, May 4th, until the early hours of Friday, May 8th.
The usual roads to be closed to traffic will be: Commercial Street, High Town, St. Peters Street, St. Owen Street, Broad Street (below junction of West Street and East Street), King Street and Bridge Street. Some parking/loading/unloading areas will also be closed in Union Street and in the streets mentioned above. In addition, Widemarsh Street (from its junction with Blueschool/Newmarket Street) and High Street will be closed to traffic from 4:30 pm to 11:00 pm on the evenings of 5th, 6th and 7th May. This will make High Street a safer pedestrian area for Fair goers.
All of these streets will be accessible to emergency vehicles.
Advance warning signs will be on all routes leading towards the city centre advising of the closures.
As in previous years, diversion routes will not be signposted as, with so many possible permutations, such signing would be too confusing for motorists, especially visitors to the City.
All of the other city centre roads will operate as near normal as possible.
Meanwhile, the southern end of Berrington Street will be two-way between St Nicholas Street and Little Berrington Street and motorists are asked to take extra care if using this route. All of Gwynne Street will be two-way.
There may also be additional congestion for traffic using St Martins Street for access onto the A49 during the period of the fair.
Herefordshire Council urges drivers to be patient and considerate on the roads during the period of the fair.