Summer fairs in the UK (often spelt as fayres) are an important part of the fabric of the culture. They are typically based in agriculture so involve farm animals and farm products. Every area of the UK has at least one summer fair and there are often many more. Yorkshire, for example, has many fairs in different parts of the county throughout the summer. The Great Yorkshire Show had its 160th show this past July 10-12th weekend. The North Yorkshire County Show was in June 2018. The Halifax show will be on August 11th, 2018 and Countryside Live in Harrogate will be on October 20th, 2018.
The first fairs are at the end of May and go through to October. There are many during June, July and August. Some advertise being one of the oldest (the Bakewell Show in Derbyshire has been going for 200 years and the Rutland Show says it is the oldest), one says is the largest village show in England (the Heckington Show in Sleaford, Lincolnshire) and the Bucks County Show in Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire advertises being one of the best horse and livestock shows. Some say they are the largest one day agricultural shows such as the Westmorland in Cumbria, Stithians in Truro, Cornwall and the Usk fair says it is the largest 1 day fair in Wales. Some fairs have upwards of 150,000 people attending their fairgrounds such as at the Lambeth County Show and one says it has as many as 200 exhibitors.
Each fair has its speciality such as sheep shearing, show jumping, falconry or vintage farm machinery displays and even chainsaw carving. The Royal Berkshire Show, which will be September 15th-16th, 2018, will have hot air balloon rides at the end of each day. Most are family oriented and have events for children and amusement rides. There are often jams and jellies for sale as well as dairy products and plants and flowers. Arts and crafts such as jewellery and clothing can be on display for sale.
Schools often have a school fair in the last months of the school year for their students and families. Typically the parents, teachers and students take part in selling items they have made.
If you haven’t been to a county show this summer yet, go to UKCountyShows.co.uk 2018. Here you will find a long list of the fairs in the UK and you will see the great diversity of events. It will make for a good day or days out!