THOUSANDS of people have flocked to Oxford's first big public event since the pandemic started as St Giles' Fair returned to the city.

Basked in glorious sunshine in Oxford City Centre, people sat back in the seats of their favourite rides again today and enjoyed sweet treats at the famous fair.

ALSO READ: As St Giles Fair returns we look back at all the fun over the years

Other Oxford events such as Cowley Carnival were unable to make a return this year, but the easing of restrictions meant the historical fair could take place this month and traders, families and students were happy to see the event back in the city.

Oxford Mail: St Giles' Fair, Oxford. 2021. Pic: Indya Keen

Stacey Martin, from Oxford, who went to the fair this afternoon, said: "It's so nice to be back. I thought my son would be overwhelmed because he's a quarantine baby, but he's fine. Nothing beats a fair atmosphere."

Oxford resident Esme Fitz-Gibbon, who has been going to the fair for 20 years, said it is a great place for pupils who have just started school to make new friends.

She said: "I'm so happy for people to be together again - I love it. St Giles' has always been a good way to meet friends starting secondary school because it always starts on the first week that secondary schools in Oxford start for the new year. So I think going to St Giles' is a big social opportunity."

Oxford Mail: St Giles' Fair, Oxford. 2021. Pic: Indya Keen

Jamie Hebborn, who works for Hebborns of Oxford on the candy floss and refreshments stall, was excited to serve customers again.

ALSO READ: St Giles Fair, Oxford, 2021 up and running once again

She said: "It's amazing to be back. The fair industry has been crippled so everyone is really happy and glad to be back doing what we love to do. Everyone is just so happy to be back. From what we've seen so far, it's been busy and I think tonight's going to be really busy.

"Normally at 6pm it peaks. We've been here for generations - since 1913. So grandparents and great-grandparents and I've just shipped my daughter in - she's only 14. Everyone else is from everywhere, but we are originally from Oxford so when we come every year it's amazing."

The fair coincides with the first-ever World Fun Fair Month – launched by campaign group Future 4 Fairgrounds to raise awareness of showmen contribution to communities all over the world.

ALSO READ: St Giles Fair returns with traditional blessing service

Oxford resident Debby Hopkins, said: "It's kind of awesome. I've been taking photos to send to friends and the beautiful weather has made me very happy for the traders."

Oxford Mail: St Giles' Fair, Oxford. 2021. Pic: Indya Keen

The fair is also on tomorrow from 11am to 11pm.

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