Appleby Horse fair date moved to avoid Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations

Members of the Appleby Horse Fair Multi-Agency Strategic Coordinating Group (MASCG) have agreed to move the 2022 Fair from its usual dates over the first weekend of June to ensure that next year’s Fair does not fall on the same dates as the Queens Platinum Jubilee Bank Holiday weekend celebrations.

The mutually agreed start date for next year’s Fair will be Thursday 9 June 2022, which falls in the week following the Jubilee celebrations.

Les Clark, Chair of the Appleby Horse Fair Multi-Agency Strategic Coordinating Group (MASCG) said: “All the agencies involved in responding to the fair were keen to reach a compromise that enabled both the settled communities of Appleby and the surrounding areas and the Gypsy and Traveller communities to arrange and enjoy both celebrations.

“We’re grateful to the Gypsy and Traveller representatives in the Multi-Agency Strategic Coordinating Group for being flexible on moving the date of next year’s fair to accommodate the celebrations of the Queen’s Jubilee.

“As part of this mutually agreed compromise, a delegation of representatives from the Gypsy and Traveller Community will gather in the Fair field on Wednesday 8 June, to reinforce the traditional dates of the Fair.

“The MASCG will also engage with those communities that normally accommodate people travelling to the fair in the days before to ensure that the impact on their Jubilee celebrations is minimalised as well as reinforcing a strong, ’Do not come early’ message to those wishing to attend the Fair.

Gypsy and Traveller representative, Billy Welch, a member of the Multi Agency Co-ordinating Group, said, “In the spirit of compromise and mutual respect that led to the cancellation of the Fair in 2020 and its postponement in 2021, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, I’m pleased that we have been able to reach agreement on the dates for next year’s fair.

“This decision will enable the settled communities in and around Appleby to mark the Queen’s Jubilee, while preserving the Fair’s historic association with the town at a time that’s as close to the traditional dates, as is possible.”

“It has also been agreed that, after last three years in which the traditional dates for the Fair have been disrupted for different reasons, we will return to the traditional dates in 2023.”