Tag Archives: Arizona Jones

Hat’s entertainment – clowning around at Winchester Hat Fair

9 Jul

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

One thing you need to know about Winchester Hat Fair: it’s not, strictly speaking, about hats. The Milliners Guild – the representative body for the hat-making industry – runs a number of fine events, but Winchester Hat Fair is not one of them.

Winchester Hat Fair is, in fact, the UK’s longest running festival of street theatre, comedy and music. It’s called the Hat Fair because, essentially, it’s a busking festival – all of the acts are paid by the crowd, who (hopefully) throw money into their hats at the end of a performance. This is called ‘hatting’.

So, there are hundreds of free events (well, free if you have no conscience) alongside a handful of ticketed spectaculars, one of which French company Generik Vapeurs’ very exciting sounding new Waterlitz show, including an explosive display of pyrotechnics (ooh!), breath-taking aerial stunts (gasp!) and a 30m high giant made of shipping containers (aah!), was… cancelled due to the bad weather.

Still, plenty more going on – the town centre was taken over by dozens of acts on Friday and Saturday, while on Sunday the fun moved to Oram’s Arbour, a lovely park at the top of town, which is where Festival Chronicle (still feeling a bit tired and soggy from Avebury Rocks the night before) spent a few delightful hours. Continue reading