Nottingham’s legendary Goose Fair makes its annual return to the city today (Wednesday) with the gates at Forest Recreation Ground opening at 5.30 this evening.
As is traditional, the fair will be officially opened on Thursday lunchtime with a ceremonial ringing of the silver bells at 12 noon. The bells will be rung by Cllr Rosemary Healy – Lord Mayor of Nottingham.
With a history that dates back more than 700 years, thrill-seekers can enjoy the usual mix of rides, stalls and sideshows. New from the continent this year is the Jumper Jumper ride.
There will be the usual impressive array of rides including roller coasters, giant wheel, dodgems, waltzers and more. Traditionalists, can enjoy the more sedate funfair attractions of Gallopers, Chairs and Cakewalk rides.
Ride-lovers looking for a Goose Fair bargain can still take advantage of downloading £25 of ride-discount vouchers for the event. This costs £1 and will be available at whatsonnottingham.com. Vouchers will be on sale until 12 noon on Thursday 3 October. £20 of money-off ride vouchers are also available in the Nottingham Post from Mon-Weds this week.
Food is always a highlight at the fair and along with the traditional Goose Fair foods of mushy peas and mint sauce, Grantham Gingerbread and Cocks on Sticks. A mainstay of the fair – Thompson’s Cocks on Sticks will be pitching up for the last time in 2019. After 90 years trading, owners have decided it is time to call it a day. There are many Nottingham families that have visited this stall through generations and will be keen to make a last visit and wish the owners well on their well-deserved retirement.
From the old to the new, brand new catering for this year is Tastes of Transylvania, a delicious Hungarian pastry making kurtosh (chimney cakes). These handcrafted, freshly baked pastries are not a doughnut, cake or bread; but an amazing combination of all three. Crispy on the outside, soft and light on the inside. Visitors keen to take a culinary whirlwind trip around Europe could perhaps look out for the distinctive windmill structure with traditional Nutcracker wooden toy decorations that will be selling traditional German Bratwurst sausages, Spanish churros or French crepes.
There are many options to travel to the busy site. The Forest Recreation Ground is easily accessible by bus or tram. Use the Nottingham City Council journey planner – https://www.nctx.co.uk/plan-your-journey to find the best route for you. For those with mobility issues, Blue Badge event parking at £7 per car is available. There is no public vehicle parking onside aside from Blue Badge holder parking.
Those bringing cars into the city can use all NET Park & Ride sites (note that the Forest is closed), whilst Nottingham City Transport is offering a park and ride bus service from Queen’s Drive Park and Ride (NG2 1AR). There are stops right by the Goose Fair entrance for those travelling by tram or bus. With thousands of additional passengers, services will be adjusted to ensure smooth and efficient travel for everyone.
Goose Fair travel offers
Tram – NET’s £5 Group Ticket offers unlimited tram travel for one or two adults and up to three kids from 4pm on weekdays and all day at weekends.
Bus – Nottingham City Transport’s Grouprider ticket at £6 is available every day after 9:30am for Goose Fair, offering unlimited journeys for the day for up to 5 people (min 1 adult, max 2 adults) on every NCT bus in Nottingham. Buy on the bus or on the NCTX Buses app. Visit https://www.nctx.co.uk/goosefair for details.
Robin Hood at the Fair –Even Nottingham’s most famous outlaw has decided to come out of hiding for this major event in the city. Robin Hood will be joining the crowds on Saturday and Sunday between 2-5pm to promote the upcoming Robin Hood Pageant. Grab him for a quick Goose Fair selfie!
While Robin Hood will be in plain sight, other ‘outlaws’ in the city should beware if they plan to attend the Goose Fairto sell goods which may contravene safety regulations. Nottingham City Council’s Trading Standards team is offering the following advice to fair-goers:
- Avoid buying the latest craze / pocket money priced toy
- Never buy any high-value items as because of the nature of a temporary fair you can’t normally take things back. If there is a problem with your purchase you could find it very difficult to get your money back
- Toys and electrical goods should be marked with a CE symbol
- Check that goods/toys are working safely before you give them to children to play with.
If shoppers experience problems with purchases made at the fair or they suspect that traders are selling unsafe items, they should report it to Citizens Advice Consumer Service on 03454 040506.
Cllr Dave Trimble, Portfolio Holder for Leisure and Localities said: “Goose Fair really signals the beginning of autumn. I know it’s a must-attend event for most of the city and way beyond as we welcome thousands to one of Europe’s biggest fairs. Like them, I can’t wait to get down to the Forest Recreation Ground and use my money-off discount vouchers to enjoy some of the breath-taking rides. After that, I look forward to sampling some of the traditional fair food. I hope everybody has a safe and fun day out at this huge date in the city’s events calendar.”
The 2019 Goose Fair will be take place from Wednesday 2 – Sunday 6 October
Wednesday 2 October – 17:30 – 23:00
Thursday 3 October – 12:00 – 23:00
Friday 4 October – 11:00 – 23:30
Saturday 5 October – 11:00 – 23:00 Sunday 6 October – 13:00 – 21:00