Cirencester’s second Fleece Fayre, a fun filled community May Day festival, celebrating Cirencester and its rich history of the wool trade will be returning to the Market Place on Monday 7 May 2018.
The event aspires to bring the community together with a traditional May Day theme, which will include Morris & May Pole dancing, live entertainment, Cotswold Sheep Society sheep and wool display, plenty of delicious local hot food and lots of activities for all the family.
Organised by Cirencester Town Council, following the success of last year’s popular event, the aim is now to make this an annual event, as part of a legacy to last years Abbey 900 celebrations. St John the Baptist parish church, located on the Market Place, often referred to as the ‘Cathedral of the Cotswolds’, was largely rebuilt in 1515-1530 and was funded by the wealth attained by the local wool merchants from lustrous fleece of the legendary Cotswold Sheep (Lions).
Sheep, wool sales, weaving and cloth-making were the main strengths of England’s trade in the Middle Ages, and many of Cirencester’s merchants and clothiers gained wealth and prosperity with the wonderful fleeces of the Cotswold Sheep, which were highly sought after throughout Europe.
This year, the event will feature a wonderful display from Cotswold Sheep Society, including the sheep themselves who will play a starring role in the opening ceremony, and also a fleece and weaving workshop from the dedicated society members.
The Fleece Fayre this year will be laid out in sheep themed zones in and around the Market Place and will include a Fleece Market with a local vintage and handmade focus; ’Hogget’s’ Happenings’ with dancing and live entertainment including the Ukey Dukes; ‘Grazing’, showcasing lots of delicious local food and drink in West Market Place and ‘Lambs Pasture’ based in the Abbey Grounds which will include tractor rides, Chainsaw Sculpture, Punch & Judy and Bubble Workshops.
Most important to note, due to popular demand, there is a community call to dance where the public are encouraged to come and learn to May Pole Dance on the Market Square. This will include a professional caller and accordion player who will help teach the lovely traditional ribbon dance and help plat the Maypole. Sessions start from 11.30am.
The event will be officially opened at 10am by the Mayor of Cirencester, Nigel Robbins and Corinne Lamus, Chair of the Abbey 900 Committee. The Mayor said, “The Fleece Fayre was so popular last year and was much enjoyed by many members of the community, so this year we are looking to bring everyone together in the town to enjoy some great entertainment, lovely local food and fun activities. There is something for everyone and we will also be launching a Fleece Fayre photography competition with more information to be released soon, so watch this space.”
There will be plenty more surprises and fun to be had on the day and the full programme is now available at www.cirencester.gov.uk/fleecefayre. Copies are available from the Local Information Centre and around the town.
The parish church will also be hosting a number of activities including the Story Carpet where you can learn all about Cirencester’s history and also the great Abbey 900 Lego build. The whole event will be compered and broadcast by Corinium Radio.
The Cirencester Fleece Fayre will run from 10am to 5pm in the Market Place. For more information please contact Suzie Lew, Market and Events Officer at Cirencester Town Council.