Last week, the Showmen’s Guild and Nottingham City Council announced the cancellation of the 729th annual Goose fair.
The popular fairground attraction, which was scheduled to take place between Wednesday 30th September and Sunday 4th October, was cancelled due to the risk of coronavirus transmission – unavoidable given the scale the event.
It was reported that, as late as July, discussions were still taking place between the event’s organisers over the possibilities of continuing the event in some form. Measures, such as reducing the capacity of the event to a mere 25,000 people and running the event to be spread over 10 days, were even considered.
Peace time cancellation of the Goose Fair has happened only once before, in 1646
Yet, despite all the efforts made to keep the fair going this year, it was eventually decided that the intake of guests every year was too large to put in the necessary safety precautions that are needed to lower the risk of coronavirus.
Peace time cancellation of the Goose Fair has happened only once before, in in 1646 as a result of the bubonic plague.
Attracting up to 420,000 visitors per year from across the county and further afield, the Goose Fair has been a fixed part of Nottingham’s history for hundreds of years, while also providing an annual boost to the city’s economy.
The fair also meant an increased uptake in public transport, resulting in the busiest week of the year for Nottingham’s tram network, NET. In 2019 alone, the tram company carried more than 455,000 passengers during the Goose Fair week.
“We know how well-loved the event is and what a boost it would have been for the morale of the city”
The Goosey statue, placed on the island in Mansfield Road every year, has also acted as an iconic Nottingham symbol over time and many will miss seeing this symbol on their daily commute.
“We know how well-loved the event is and what a boost it would have been for morale in the city”, Dave Trimble, Nottingham City Councillor, added.
Efforts are now being refocused on organising the fair for next year and ensuring that visitors can return to the much-loved event which has been cultural staple for Nottinghamshire’s residents for so for so many years.
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