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The Goose Fair Experience

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The Nottingham Goose Fair is the stuff of legends, albeit vague and inconsistent legends, which only occasionally feature actual geese. Sadly, the modern-day fair doesn’t have geese – in fact the only animals I saw were of the stuffed variety. Still, the goose fair is a must-go for people in the Nottingham area, be it animal lovers or not.

“The crowds, bright lights and songs transported me to a childlike state for the entire 2 hours I was there”

Possibly the best thing about the fair is the good vibes it gives off. Some people even go to the fair just for the atmosphere – it’s pretty much a guaranteed good time. And, despite most of my group of friends dropping out before we left, and it being a Sunday night, the atmosphere didn’t disappoint. The crowds, bright lights and songs transported me to a childlike state for the entire 2 hours I was there. Of course, it’s sensible to worry about pickpockets at events like this, but seeing police strolling around the grounds both put me at ease and reminded me to be a little more self-aware than the 5-year-old I felt like.

“The scary, sort of dangerous rides are what makes the Goose Fair such a special place”

What might not be such a great feeling, is when a ride sort of … wobbles, under your feet. And the feeling you get when the safety bar flips down during a ride isn’t one of child-like joy, trust me. But the scary, sort of dangerous rides are what makes the Goose Fair such a special place. Where else can you pay £3 for a man with motor oil on his hands to spin you round on their waltzer until you pass out? One piece of advice, though, if you’ve just had a piercing done, don’t go on a ride that flips you upside down so you end up smashing your head against things uncontrollably. There will be blood.

If I haven’t managed to convince you yet on all the fun of the fair, then I have some magic words that will surely convince you – a bag of broken cocks, only £1. Of all the weird, wonderful and delicious food to come out of the Goose air, cock on a stick – that is, candy cockerels on a stick – is probably the most memorable.

In the interest of full disclosure, I missed out on this part of the fair, after withdrawing with a serious ear injury. But I will certainly be back next year when the fair comes to town, to get my bag of broken cocks, and so should you.

Jo Ralphs

 

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