Thame Fair returns after two-year hiatus

The popular carnival experience is back, after an extended, pandemic-enforced break.

Friday, 17th September 2021, 10:29 am
Updated Friday, 17th September 2021, 10:30 am

Thame Fair returned yesterday (16 September), when the town mayor officially opened the four-day festival yesterday afternoon.

Mayor of Thame Councillor Paul Cowell officially opened this year's event at 4pm, organisers started their takeover of the high street a few hours earlier.

The fair always attracts visitors well beyond Thame, with punters heading over from Aylesbury and surrounding Bucks and Oxfordshire villages and towns.

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Thame fair in 2019 photo from Thame Town Council

Over the next few days visitors can enjoy a host of different carnival-like entertainment.

From massive fairground theme park-like rides to candy floss stalls, halls of mirrors and dodgeums.

Highlights include Chaos, a thrilling ride which propels fairgoers into the air, before spinning them round at blistering speed. It takes customers higher into the air than any other ride and can be seen throughout most of the town when in full flow.

The fair runs across the entire high street of Thame dominating the country town.

The Mayor and deputy mayor on the teacups yesterday

Roads are shut and buses run on alternate timetables, only picking up commuters and travellers from the outskirts of the town centre.

The fair also dramatically lowers parking options for Thame shoppers, closing off available and surrounding town centre parking.

The fair is a long time tradition at the town, scheduled every year to start on the third Thursday of September.

It offers a welcome boost of excitement to children just starting their new school year.

A Thame Town Council spokesperson outlined the restrictions in place in the town, saying: "Parking restrictions come into force at 7.00am on Wednesday on Wellington Street, North Street and Southern Road to assist with traffic flow ahead of the town centre road closure.

"From 4.00pm on Wednesday 15 September until noon on Sunday 19 September, the High Street, Cornmarket, Buttermarket, Upper High Street and North Street (from Wellington Street junction to Upper High Street roundabout) will be closed and access restricted.

"Residents and businesses with off-street parking within the road closure can visit the Town Hall to collect access permits.

"During the road closure, town centre bus stops will relocate to: The Thatch (buses to Oxford), Thame Museum (buses to Aylesbury) and Yeats Lodge at the entrance to Waitrose car park (buses to High Wycombe). The taxi rank will move to North Street."