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THE WINCHESTER HAT FAIR

hat fair actorshat fair actorsballoon clownkiss cabinetold man actor

IT is hard to describe in words Winchester's Hat Fair so it is probably best left to pictures. The fair is held usually in the first weekend of July in the historic old capital of Winchester in Hampshire. The term 'hat fair' refers to the street entertainers putting hats out for donations although more and more visitors are wearing crazy hats for the event! The fair is Europe's biggest festival of street theatre and if you think 'street theatre' refers to a dodgy juggler or fire-eater then think again. This is theatre on a scale rarely seen in the UK. For example, the actors pictured at the top of this page are standing on the top of 30ft poles in the Cathedral Grounds. Their act comprised waving about on the poles - but again words can't describe a largely pictorial event! The main event of the weekend is all-day Saturday when the High Street and surrounding area is littered with street entertainers but Sunday's picnic at nearby Oram's Arbor is also a delightful treat for children of any age. Website: www.hatfair.co.uk