THE sun shone on Morpeth as the town turned out for all the fun of the fair.
Thousands of people descended on the town centre on Sunday to enjoy the annual Morpeth Fair Day.
The usual parade had to be cancelled this year as there was nowhere for procession vehicles to park due to flood scheme works putting High Stanners out of bounds.
But it did not deter the crowds, with visitor numbers on a par with previous years and a record number of entries reported for both the fun run and fancy dress competition.
The event is organised by the Morpeth and District Chamber of Trade as its main fund-raiser and the group was delighted with how it turned out.
Member John Beynon said: “It was very successful yet again.
“We didn’t have the parade, which was a big drawback, but hopefully that will be back next year, bigger and better than ever, and the crowds still turned out in force.
“We moved quite a few attractions from the riverside into the town because of the flood works, which meant that Newgate Street and Oldgate were used more, which was great.”
Stalls were spread throughout the town centre and there were two continental markets and a Northumberland market, which have already signed up to run at next year’s fair, thanks to the positive response they received from the public.
Entertainment was provided by folk group Prelude, along with local choirs, the Northumbrian Water Ellington Colliery Band and the Band of the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers.
There were also karate demonstrations.
Children from Chernobyl, who are currently staying in Morpeth for a respite visit, were guests of honour and Keith Turner donated hundreds of pounds worth of free rides at his fun fair for the youngsters. Morpeth Lions Club also supported the group.
“Everybody has been very positive about the fair,” said Mr Beynon. “Two or three of the stallholders were here for the first time and they thought it was great and the continental markets were so pleased with how it went that they signed up on the day to come back again, which is great news.
“A few people did turn up for the procession so they were a bit disappointed, but they understood the reasons why it had to be cancelled and they enjoyed the rest of the day.
“The feedback from the public has been great. Over the past four or five years even people who think it is an inconvenience to have the fair are coming round and the majority of people now are very positive about it.
“They know that all of the money raised goes back into the town. It is a day that all the family can enjoy and there is so much free entertainment that people don’t have to spend any money to enjoy it.”
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