I love Winchester’s Hat Fair, the longest continually running festival of Outdoor Arts, right on our doorstep. The name comes from buskers putting out their hats, and it’s completely free. The city centre will be divided up into festival zones, all just a short walk from one to the next, and all just a short stroll from both Saskia’s BnB and the Prince of Wales Apartment. It’s all free, but if you enjoy the shows, throw a little something into the hat. So from this Friday, 29th June 2018 until Sunday 1st July prepare to be entertained.

Some cynical Wintonians are dismissive of the Hat Fair, “ Once you seen ten jugglers, you’ve seen them all”, these people don’t get involved, and miss out of some cutting edge performances. Anyway with the likes of Juggling Jake returning, he’d gladly help even the most hardened cynic to eat his hat. Juggling Jake with be performing during Saturday at Pilgrims School Lawn or Able Mabel is across venues during the weekend. Come on, get in the spirit of this – throw yourself into a bit of audience participation. To be honest, it’ll take a few glasses of pimms before I join in, but I’ll enjoy watching. 

I love a bit of contemporary dance and I’m really hoping to catch Candoco ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MhhWJ1TxPNU)
performing Dedicated to women, to love, to life, to friendship. This duet promises to be amazing. They have two performances down at the North Walls Recreation Ground (often known locally at the River Park). For the locals among you, note that Sunday’s Hat Fair has been relocated for Oram’s Arbour to North Walls Recreation Ground. 

I’ll also be checking out The Bicycle Ballet Co, which looks great fun. And that’s what The Hat Fair is, an amazing condensed dose of enjoyment. There’s something in there for everyone whether you fancy humour, clowning, choreography there’s creativity in abundance and an extraordinary weekend to be had  – grab yourself a programme. Available around town, from The Discovery Centre or Tourist Information in the Guildhall. You don’t want to miss the likes of NoFit State Circus https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=88&v=qR_E1pFGop4. So discover for yourself what’s on offer, and expect the unexpected. There’s even a People’s Stage, if you have some talent to share. Enjoy!

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