The longest street fair in Europe is back in Abingdon and crowds flocked to enjoy the fairground rides, candyfloss and games.

Abingdon Michaelmas Fair runs from the Market Place, through the High Street, The Square and the full length of Ock Street.

The historic street fair started following the shortage of labour due to the Black Death, the fair was a hiring fair and the equivalent of job websites and employment agencies today.

The fair was forced to not run last year due to the pandemic and this year children, families and thrill seekers returned brining much needed trade to fairground workers and pubs and restaurants in Abingdon.

Oxford Mail: Abingdon’s Michaelmas Fair. Picture: Rebecca Whittaker

With the streets busy some restaurants brought their food out onto the street. Chabba Thai served food to hungry fair goers and Dorindo's Mexican restaurant took to the street to serve burritos, enchiladas and much more.

Teodora Atanasov from Dorindo's said she was getting ready for a fun evening and hopes the fair will bring lots of customers. She said: "I hope the fair will bring more trade, I think people are ready to have fun."

Stall owners were also pleased to be back working after two years of being unable to trade at fairs.

Worker at the fair Steve Popplewell said: "It is my first time here, but I think I will be worked off my feet and be shattered at the end of the night.

He added: "Covid affected us badly, but we are all in the same boat."

Oxford Mail: Abingdon’s Michaelmas Fair. Picture: Rebecca Whittaker

Steve Parkinson worker on a fair ride said he was hoping the weather would stay nice for the busy crowds in the evening.

Vanessa Ayers is stall owner at the fair and has been visiting for 14 years. She said: "It is really nice to be back, we had a lot of support at the fairs we have been to this summer. I think everyone is pleased it is back to normal."

Stall owner Bill Warren who lives near Witney said his first time at the fair was now 35 years ago. He said: "We need it to be busy after two years if not taking anything."

He added: "A lot of the councils are not letting us operate so we have only done a few fairs this year."

Mr Warren said he was grateful for the work of 'future4fairgrounds' that helped fairs like Abingdon Michaelmas Fair keeping running so they could return after lockdown.

The fair opened on Monday and will be open on Tuesday from 12 noon until 11pm.

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