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Bishop's Castle Michaelmas fair revival 'unmissable'

South Shropshire | News | Published:

An annual town fair that attracts thousands of people is set to make a return in the coming weeks after being cancelled last year.

The Michaelmas fair in Bishop's Castle is one of town's biggest events, but was cancelled in 2014 due to a critical shortage of volunteers to organise it.

Now organisers have promised it will be an "unmissable occasion" again, with live music and dancing, processions of vintage vehicles, street theatre, exotic animals, food and drink and art workshops in the town centre.

Among the highlights at this year's event on September 19, will be a life-size puppet elephant that is being made by local artist Bamber Hawes, and an appearance from Fuzz Townsend, of Channel 4's Car SOS, who will commentate on the procession of classic cars.

New chairwoman Liz Still said volunteer numbers had now been bolstered from a core committee of eight and there was "good support" in the town.

She said: "The reason why we had to cancel last year was that there were not enough people to organise it. Bishop's Castle is a small place with a lot going on and I think there was the idea that the Michaelmas fair might just be too much to put on.

"But we've got some new people on board and I think the fact that there wasn't one last year made people realise what they were missing. This year we've got all the Michaelmas favourites back, but the idea is to keep it in the town centre so it will have a real street fair feel."

In previous years much of the fair has taken place in the playing fields nearby, and in 2013 the traditional stage in front of the town hall could not go up due to renovations at the 250-year-old building.

Ms Still, a freelance arts practitioner, was previously stalls organiser at the fair and has taken over as chair from John Lucas who has moved to act as secretary for the event.

The fair will take place in the town centre from the John The Baptist Church to Castle Hotel and include steam engines and tractors, Morris dancing, owls and alpacas, local ales, samba dancing and have-a-go puppetry. There will be vehicle processions at 12.30pm and 5pm, with a lantern procession at 7.45pm and Peet the Fool's Fire Show as the finale.

There will also be live music until 9.30pm on the town hall stage and celebrations will continue inside the town hall into Sunday. Admission is £5 and includes the chance to enter the High Flying Raffle to win a balloon flight, glider flight or a tandem paragliding trip. Visit www.michaelmasfair.co.uk

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