Goosey the Goose Fair goose will once again fly into Old Market Square – and she’s urging people to come along to say hello!
The eight-foot figure is the emblem of Nottingham’s famous annual event, which had to be cancelled this year due to ongoing concerns and uncertainty around Covid.
She usually announces that Nottingham’s longest-running and most popular event is under way by taking pride of place on what’s known locally as Goose Fair Roundabout in Mansfield Road, close to the Goose Fair site on the Forest Recreation Ground.
It would have been the 730th Goose Fair and is only the tenth time in history it has been called off, including in 1646 due to the Bubonic Plague and during the First and Second World Wars.
However, Goosey didn’t want 2021 to pass without at least a nod to what Nottingham people would normally be looking forward to at this time of year.
On Thursday morning, Goosey will travel into the city centre – moving from her regular home at the council’s Woolsthorpe depot to a new temporary spot in Old Market Square.
Goosey will sit proudly atop a specially made plinth from 7.30am until 4.30pm on Thursday, and she’s hoping to meet as many people as possible during her flying visit.
Members of the public are invited to visit Old Market Square to see her and pose for a selfie, while adhering to social distancing.
On Thursday at noon, the Lord Mayor of Nottingham, Councillor Dave Trimble, will be joined by Town Crier, Tom Huggon, and members of the Showmen’s Guild for the traditional ringing of the Goose Fair bell.
This would normally take place on the fairground site at the Forest Recreation Ground. Councillor Trimble will express disappointment that the event could not go ahead again this year, but acknowledge its importance to Nottingham and say how much the city looks forward to the Goose Fair’s return.
Councillor Eunice Campbell-Clark, Portfolio Holder for Leisure, Culture and Schools said: “The cancellation of Goose Fair for a second year running during the current Covid pandemic was a very difficult decision to make.
“However, we wanted to mark the event in some way. Moving Goosey to Old Market Square from her normal spot on the Mansfield Road roundabout is a small thing, but hopefully lots of people will enjoy seeing her up close and posing for a photo.
“We’d love visitors to share their photos and videos with us on social media, as we all look forward to the event hopefully returning bigger and better in 2022.”
While other large events such as football matches and festivals are beginning to take place, Goose Fair is different because it traditionally attracts around half a million people over five days, constantly moving on, off and around the large but restrictive site, rather than being seated.
The council took all these factors into consideration when reaching its decision, along with guidance from the Safety Advisory Group for Events and Public Health, Covid infection rates currently being high and vaccination uptake remaining low in the city.