• Thu. Jun 13th, 2024

Oxford: St Giles’ Fair traditional blessing service takes place


Sep 5, 2022

The sound of a brass band echoed across the city centre this evening, as the traditional service to mark the blessing of St Giles Fair took place.

The time honoured tradition saw around 50 people gather in St Giles to sing hymns and listen to speeches from the city’s religious leaders and the Lord Mayor.

As the service took place, fairground workers continued in the background putting the finishing touches on the rides, food stalls and games ahead of the fair’s opening tomorrow morning at 11am.

READ MORE: St Giles’ Fair 2022: Everything you need to know

The Lord Mayor of Oxford, councillor James Fry, said addressed the crowd and noted the long and important history of St Giles’ Fair to the city.

He told one historic anecdote where Queen Elizabeth I reportedly came to the fair in the 1600s and watched it from a window at St John’s College.

He told this newspaper: “I hope one the one hand we get some rain very soon but on the other I hope it is not tomorrow or Tuesday after 11am.

“It is lovely to see [the fair] back and I hope residents will come and enjoy it.”

St Giles’ fair dates back to 1625 when it was a parish festival to celebrate the feast of the patron saint, St Giles.

The fair returns to the city tomorrow and will be open between 11am and 11pm on both Monday and Tuesday (September 5 and 6).

Read more from this author

This story was written by Sophie Perry. She joined the team in 2021 as a digital reporter.

You can get in touch with her by emailing: sophie.perry@newsquest.co.uk

Follow her on Twitter @itssophieperry

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