If you live in a small village, one of the highlights of the year can be setting up a fair for all the residents to enjoy. This is a great way to build a sense of community spirit without anyone having to spend a fortune, and it can be set up relatively easily and cheaply. However, there are a few things you should bear in mind to make sure it all runs as smoothly as possible.
Firstly, put an advert out in the local community to find out who is willing to set up a stall, game or event for the fair. You could even find out if there are any bands based in the village who would like to provide some music, or even a choir or any orchestra members. If not, you could set up a village samba band for even the most musically challenged.
Next, ask around the local businesses to see if anyone is happy to contribute anything to a tombola or lucky dip. People always love these, and if the prizes come from local businesses this is twice as good. Not only do people get to enjoy local products, but this also boosts publicity for the firm, which can be good for them in the long run.
Safety is absolutely vital. If you plan on having any small petting areas with animals from nearby farms, make sure you hire some sturdy fencing to keep everyone safe. Children in particular should be closely supervised when handling animals, and the farmer or someone trained should stay close by at all times. Also make sure you have arranged for trained first aiders to be in attendance, and allocate a lost child point in case parents and children get split up.
If you are going to hold any contests, be sure to inform all of the entrants well ahead of time about the rules. This could be a vegetable growing competition, a talent show, a village sporting tournament… the options are endless. Think about any village traditions and embrace them! If your village is well known for its beautiful daffodils, see who can grow the prettiest. If you have a history of a certain sport, get everyone involved in a big, fun game.
As long as everyone pitches in and goes in with the right attitude, a village fair is the ideal way to get everyone in the village together and meeting people they might not usually talk to. This is one of the best possible ways to make everyone feel like part of the community, and is fun for all the family.
Emma Benton is an active member of her Yorkshire village’s community, actively getting involved in local events for the benefit of local residents