Over 300,000 people will hopefully return to the Forest Recreation Ground over the next five days as Nottingham’s historic Goose Fair starts today.
With ride owners bringing their final preparations to a close, the Fair will open its doors at 5.30pm with over 500 attractions for visitors to take in.
It isn’t just the visitors who look forward to the week either, with stall and ride owners alike excited for the start of one of Europe’s most famous travelling fairs.
Chairman of the local Showmen’s Guild, Keith James, is especially excited to continue the long association with the Fair.
“We have been in Nottingham for years, with the Goose Fair moving to the Forest Recreation Ground from Slab Square in the centre in 1929,” Mr James said.
“Numerous exhibitions such as wild west shows have taken place across the years.
“However, shows like that aren’t of interest anymore so we are here with some of the best rides in the country to keep people coming through the gates.
“These rides and the people that run them will keep coming to the Fair whilst it is still popular.”
Popularity has rarely been an issue at the ancient fair with new rides introduced each year complimenting classics such as Cake Walk and the Dodgems.
Preparations being finalised for Nottingham’s Goose Fair
And with Spencer Stokes’ Moondance making its first appearance in Nottingham, thrill-seekers will be more than pleased with the ride line up this year.
However, traditionalists such as ride owners Bert Holland believe that the atmosphere of the event is made by a combination of all the rides.
“I have been coming to the Goose Fair for the majority of my life, following in the footsteps of my father and my grandfather,” Mr Holland said.
“The Fair is one of the biggest in the country and is has a family atmosphere with everyone invested into making it as successful as possible.”
Stalls are also a big part of any fair, with Colin Pawley owning a number of the smaller attractions such as the infamous penalty shootout game.
“We have a number of traditional fairground stalls and everyone that passes through still seems to enjoy taking part,” Mr Pawley said.
“As for the Goose Fair itself, it is a tradition for me to come every year, as I have done for the past 43 years.”
So to sum everything up, what does the Goose Fair actually mean to the people of Nottingham?
“The Fair means all sorts of different things to every different person who walks through the gates,” Mr James said.
“We cater for every person of every age at the Fair to keep the numbers of people coming through the gates each year.”