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Coronavirus: Nottingham Goose Fair cancelled due to pandemic

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image copyrightGetty Images
image captionThe Nottingham fair typically attracts 420,000 visitors over five days every autumn

A much-loved funfair has been cancelled for only the ninth time in its 700-year history.

Nottingham's Goose Fair, which is held every autumn, is the latest event not to go ahead this year due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The fair is one of the UK's largest, attracting more than 420,000 visitors over five days.

The council said it had looked at other options but due to its scale and popularity "none were possible".

An outbreak of bubonic plague in 1646 and the two world wars are the only times the fair has been cancelled before.

image copyrightGetty Images
image captionMushy peas with mint sauce has become a Goose Fair tradition for many visitors

Councillor Dave Trimble said: "The annual Goose Fair is Nottingham's iconic event and making a decision to cancel this year due to coronavirus is something that the council does not take lightly.

"We know how well-loved the event is and what a boost it would have been for morale in the city.

"Unfortunately, due to its scale and popularity, in the end this was not possible."

Although fairground rides and attractions are now able to open, the city council and Showmen's Guild said it had been a challenge on how to manage the usual crowds, while maintaining social distancing and ensuring Covid-safe measures are in place.

Mr Trimble said they had considered timed sessions to limit capacity or extending the length of the fair, but felt much of the atmosphere would be lost.

"It's not something we could take that chance with," he added.

"If we did go ahead and three or four weeks later we find the fair caused a spike in Nottingham, that would be a terrible thing."

William Percival, chair of the Showmen's Guild for Derby and Notts, said they were "obviously disappointed" the fair could not proceed as fairground operators had been hit hard by the pandemic.

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