St Giles’ Fair is back in town

Published: Tuesday, 31st August 2021

The famous St Giles' Fair is back in Oxford this September after it had to miss 2020 due to Covid restrictions.

The Lord Mayor of Oxford, Mark Lygo, will open the fair by ceremonially ringing a bell and being the first to take a ride.

One of the events in Oxford that attracts people of all ages and from all areas of Oxford, the fair will run on Monday 6 September and Tuesday 7 September, from 11am to 11pm on both days.

It will feature all the family favourites such as dodgems and waltzers as well as the latest white-knuckle rides for thrill seekers including Space Afterburner and Extreme Top Scan, which is the only ride of its kind currently travelling the UK.

Thousands are expected to enjoy the two-day autumn event, which coincides with the first ever World Fun Fair Month launched by campaign group Future 4 Fairgrounds to raise awareness of the Showmen community’s contribution internationally.

Although lockdown restrictions have been lifted, the organiser has carried out a Covid risk assessment and control measures are in place to prevent the spread of coronavirus following Government guidance. Stewards will monitor the event as usual.

St Giles' Fair is one of the oldest fairs in England with a history that dates back to the early 17th century when it was a parish festival to celebrate the feast of the patron saint, St Giles. By the 18th century it had become a toy fair and eventually evolved in the late part of the 1800s to be a mixture of mechanical rides and side stalls.

“St Giles' Fair has been a fixture in the Oxford calendar for centuries, and is one of the few events that really does have something for everyone. After missing out last year, it’s great to be able to look forward to some family fun.”

Councillor Mary Clarkson, Cabinet Member for Culture, Leisure and Tourism

“We can’t wait to come back to Oxford. It’s always a good experience for the showmen, but it will be extra special this year as St Giles is the first of the major fairs to take place in the past 18 months.

“We’re bringing some fantastic rides, including the largest Ghost Train travelling the UK and Super Bowl which is returning after an absence of a few years. There are also over 50 kiddies’ attractions, not forgetting all the various food outlets serving everything from traditional fish & chips, to candy floss and toffee apples.”

Joey Noyce, Showmen’s Guild