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Crowds flock to Cuckoo Fair
THE promise of maypole dancing, Morris and clog dancing, music, crafts and children's entertainment brought tens of thousands of people to Downton on Saturday for the village's 35th Cuckoo Fair.
Some 20,000 visitors visited The Borough during the day, to mark the beginning of spring with a community celebration that dates back to the first chartered fair in the village in 1249 with the tradition being revived in 1979.
Several charities used the event to promote their work and the food stalls did a roaring trade in sales of ice cream, cakes, barbecued meat, sweets and snacks.
Cuckoo Fair chairman Tony Pike described this year's event as "among the best".
The festivities were kicked off with the crowning of the princess, Antonia Smith at the White Horse, which was followed by a procession to the maypole for dancing and performances from Sarum Morris dancers.
Mr Pike said: “The fair was nice and relaxed and it was obvious that the people loved it.
“Every year the weather seems to turn out fine for us. Everyone was having a good time and all the stalls appeared to be doing a roaring trade.
“The Downton Cuckoo Fair is widely known. We have people visiting from London, Cornwall and Liverpool and last year we had a coach full of visitors from France.
“There are other cuckoo fairs across the country, but the Downton Cuckoo Fair is, I believe, the biggest.”
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