Fair’s fair – few cities can match Hull’s history when it comes to having fun

One of Europe’s largest and oldest travelling funfairs, dating back to the 13th Century, is set to return to Hull this autumn after last year’s event was cancelled for the first time in 75 years.

Promising its usual mix of fairground favourites, food stalls, children’s rides and thrilling sky-high attractions, Hull Fair returns to the city from 8 to 16 October.

A city car park will once more be transformed into a venue for around 300 rides and attractions, with food stalls, traditional favourites such as palm reading, and thrilling big wheel rides offering spectacular views across the fairground and city.

Organisers say all rides and attractions will be back this year – although there will be some measures in place to ensure Covid safety.

Among children’s rides will be fun houses, helter skelters and mini versions of roller coasters and waltzers; and adults can look forward to a variety of faster and higher rides offering extra thrills and spills.

For the 2019 Fair, attractions included the Air Ride, two Extreme rides, The Orbiter, dodgems, ghost trains, reverse bungee rope rides and some of the country’s biggest fun houses.

Traditional funfair food is always a popular treat for visitors, from Hull favourites – a Bob Carvers portion of pattie and chips – to stalls selling brandy snaps, doughnuts, sweets, and candy floss.

Dating back more than 700 years, the fair has moved around the calendar over the centuries, as well as in duration – and it even sparked a riot in the 18th century.

A charter was first granted for a fair in 1278, and in 1293 Edward I allocated six weeks in May and June for an annual fair, which by the 16t6 century had become a 16-day event every September.

When the dates were changed again in 1751, cutting back the festivities by 11 days, a mob took to the streets of Hull to protest. From then on, the official date for Hull Fair was set as 11 October, or the Friday nearest to it.

Over the years the Fair has also moved locations around the city, including Nelson Street, Market Place and Park Street, before moving to its present site in Walton Street in 1888.

Although national changes to restrictions have made it possible for the fair to go ahead, additional precautions will be taken wherever possible, including additional cleansing, and creating alternative entrances into the fairground. Hand sanitiser will also be available for visitors, and all Hull City Council events staff will be encouraged to wear face masks.

Hull Fair will take place Friday 8 – Saturday 16 October (excluding Sunday 10 October).

For more details, visit www.facebook.com/hullfair/

For all other tourism information about Hull, see www.visithull.org