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Ditchling Fair returns to Embrace the Arts

PUBLISHED: 12:36 27 May 2014 | UPDATED: 12:38 27 May 2014

Ditchling Fair

Ditchling Fair

Mike Stoakes

On 21 June the Ditchling Fair will be back to delight and entertain. Preparations are well underway for what promises to be a fantastic event

The art of the matter

Next month sees the return of the ever-popular Ditchling Fair, and there’s plenty going on in keeping with this year’s theme, Embracing the Arts. Arguably the most exciting of these is the new art event.

Funding from Hamptons estate agents has allowed the purchase of 50 blank canvases. Local artists and residents are being asked to paint on these canvases and return them to the organisers in good time for the day of the Fair.

These paintings will then be exhibited at the Fair for everyone to to enjoy, before being sold in a silent bidding auction in aid of the Ditchling Village Association. If you would like to take part in this event please contact the organisers by filling in the form at www.ditchlingfair.co.uk – they will take your details and arrange for you to collect a canvas. Feeling inspired? Now is your chance to put your artistic flair to the test.

All the fun of the Fair

A full day of entertainment and jollity will start in the morning in the High Street and on the green, including a parade around the village.

There will be a variety of entertainment including live music and dancing, a dog show, Harris’ Fun Fair, The Jack and Jill Race, a tug o’ war, a bar, food and snacks, alongside lots of fun and games.

Scare-brained

In keeping with a now time-honoured tradition, residents of Ditchling are being asked to make scarecrows and place them in prominent positions in gardens around the village. All entries should be based on personalities, characters, stories or events that relate to the theme, Embracing the Arts. There is no limit to the number of scarecrows you can enter in one scene. 
If a family or household wishes to make scarecrows representing different topics, separate entry forms are required. 
Each topic should have its own entry. You can download the entry form at www.ditchlingfair.co.uk, or pick up a copy from Ditchling Post Office this month.

Closing date to receive entry forms is 4pm on 16 June. There is a competition entry fee of £1 per entry. Scarecrows should be in-situ all week from 2pm on 15 June 
until after the fair. The competition will be judged by popular vote – the voting slip is in the Fair programme. First, second and third prizes will be awarded to the winners.

Time-honoured

In 1312 King Edward II granted John de Warenne, Lord of the Manor, the right to run a Fair in Ditchling, “in the eve and in the day and in the morrow of St Margaret the Virgin”, and thus it was to be celebrated on 20 July.

This would have been an occasion for the trade of exotic goods However, there were entertainments too – wrestling, bear baiting and cock-fighting – distasteful now, but all part of the fun at the time.

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