THOUSANDS of people will head to a historic fair in Abingdon today as the town's streets are transformed with colourful fairground rides and stalls.

The Michaelmas Fair, believed to be the longest in Europe, starts today at noon and runs until 10pm with the same opening hours tomorrow.  

It features dozens of fairground rides, games and food stalls and stretches for about a mile along the High Street, Market Place and Ock Street.

Road closures are now in place on High Street, Market Place, Ock Street, Stratton Way from its junction with Bath Street to Ock Street, The Square and West St Helen Street from its junction with High Street to Lombard Street.

The annual fair dates back to the 14th century and is now hosted by the town council and organised by Birmingham-based Bob Wilson and Sons Funfairs Ltd.

It originally served as a hiring fair, a place for farmhands and other labourers to find work on surrounding village farms.

The smaller scale Runaway Fair will follow the Michaelmas Fair on Monday, October 16.

Before this year's fair gets under way, relieve the fun of last year with our photo gallery above.