Over 30 years of tradition: The May Day Fair is returning to Heigham Park

Maypole dancers at the The family May Day Fair at Heigham Park. Picture: Denise Bradley

Maypole dancers at the The family May Day Fair at Heigham Park. Picture: Denise Bradley - Credit: Archant 2013

The festival of May Day dates as far back as the Roman era with youth celebrating the coming of spring – and a group of Norwich churches are continuing the holiday celebrations with a May Day Fair that has been running for over 30 years.

Donkey rides for Annie Syme, 7, and Joe Newstead, 10, led by Hayley Bulgin of Parkers Donkey Rides a

Donkey rides for Annie Syme, 7, and Joe Newstead, 10, led by Hayley Bulgin of Parkers Donkey Rides at the May Day Fair. Picture: Denise Bradley - Credit: Archant 2013

The May Day Fair, also know as the May Day Family Event, has taken place at Heigham Park for 31 years and will return for a day of family fun, all for a good cause.

On Monday, May 1, the fair will see local churches from Norwich come together to run the fair to raise money for the May Day Fund which is shared between local charities.

The fair promises fun for all the family with donkey rides, Punch and Judy shows, face painting and dodgems.

As well the fun and games - live music, choirs and dance groups will perform.

There are also many stalls on offer with a large refreshments tent hosting hot food and ice cream.

The first May Day Fair was held in Heigham Park in 1986. Organised by the Reverend Peter Lemmon of St Peter's Park Lane Methodist Church, his idea was to hold an inexpensive family fun day for the community, bringing together church groups with stalls, refreshments and games.

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The fair has now grown to include a group of churches with the United Reformed Church in Jessopp Road, St, Thomas' church in Earlham Road, St Anne's church in Colman Road and King's Church of Norwich.

Previous fairs have raised thousands for local charities, last year money raised was able to support the work of NDBF Refugees and Leeway.

The spring bank holiday was created in 1978 and is celebrated though out the county as a time to celebrate the fertility of springtime. The day has long been celebrated with the ringing of bells from Morris dancers and maypole dancing which sees traditionally dressed dancers perform around a pole with ribbons.

The fair will be taking place from 11am till 4pm on May 1, in Heigham Park. Admission is free with a range of ticket prices for rides and stalls.

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