Hat Fair “The Best Yet”


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Hat Fair


Images: Adrienne Photography and Adrienne Photography/Stephen Cook

With many of us still talking about the astonishing array of free entertainment that made Hat Fair over the weekend, the organisers have declared it “the best yet.”

Hat Fair celebrated 45 years over the weekend by filling the streets and green spaces of Winchester with vibrant, fun, intriguing performances from local to international street artists, dancers, musicians, theatre companies and circus acts – all being enjoyed by tens of thousands of people of all ages.

Hat Fair

No-one in Winchester could have failed to have spotted something going on, or be moved by the dedication and involvement.

No-one is likely to forget the beautiful weather either.

It started with an explosion of colour on Friday lunchtime when hundreds of local school children dressed in colourful costumes paraded in carnival from The Great Hall to Abbey Gardens.

Thingumajig Theatre’s Ghost Caribou saw the two giant illuminated caribou puppets return later that day for a beautiful shadow puppet show in front of the Cathedral.

Hat Fair

Then throughout the weekend we had the extreme hula hooper, Belgium’s eccentric workman, The Strong Lady, singing acrobats BaradaStreet, comedy duo Street Comedy and many more.

One Hatter told the organisers that the weekend’s event had been their best hatting experience ever, with many wanting to return next year.

Hat Fair

And who will forget in a hurry the festival’s headline act, Motionhouses’s WILD, which captivated almost 1,000 audience members each evening.

This extraordinary dance-circus piece saw the troupe carrying out daring moves across a sky-high forest of poles, in front of a blazing sunset – after a bright sunny day.


Organisation for Hat Fair 2020 is already underway – with acts discussing next year’s event. In the meantime, Hat Fair Director, Andrew Loretto, applauded this year’s festival: “Hat Fair 2019 was a joyous, sunny three days which brought the crowds out in their thousands to the streets, historic sites and green spaces of Winchester.

“The festival brought people of all ages together in a celebration of performance, art, life and internationalism. I am very proud of all of our artists and the incredibly hard working team that made it all happen.”

Hat Fair

Next year’s Hat Fair takes place from Friday 3rd – Sunday 5th July 2020. To get involved visit the Hat Fair on this link