Hull Fair announces big changes for 2021 including earlier opening and contactless payments

The organisers of Hull Fair have said they believe it can be a “fun, safe and happy” occasion for all if people are prepared to use common sense, in light of the Covid-19 situation.

The Showmen’s Guild has said there is plenty of capacity at the Walton Street fairground, even taking into account that it is expected to be a bumper event because of the cancellation of most other similar fairs this year, including Nottingham Goose Fair.

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Garry Leach, chairman of the Yorkshire section of the Showmen’s Guild, said: “The two key words this year are ‘common’ and ‘sense’.

“I know people like to come at the weekends because of work, but if possible, come throughout the week, you will get a nicer experience because it won’t be as crowded.



Hull Fair at night
Hull Fair at night

“And if you see an area that looks congested, think, I will come back later to that.

“People have been coming to Hull Fair for years and they enjoy sticking with their traditions but they should think about changing things up a bit – come on a different day, and be aware that there are a number of entry/exit points to the fairground, not just via Walton Street.”

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Garry said that stewards would be on hand to guide people and keep the flow of visitors around the fair.

He also said that hand sanitising stations would be at every stall and ride and encouraged people to use them “even if they are not going on that particular ride or to use that stall at that time – it’s just a good idea to keep using them as you go around”.

He said: “The cleaning of the rides is something that has never changed, that has always been to a very high standard, but we are using cleaning systems that Transport for London use, fogging systems that last 30 days, only we are using them daily, and we don’t have the passenger numbers that Transport for London does.”

Garry said contactless payment would be a major feature of Hull Fair, which opens in the city on Friday, October 8 and will run until Saturday, October 16.

“Most things will offer contactless payments and I imagine many people will want to pay by card.

“Because so many people may be trying to do this at once, it may become a bit hit and miss – with 500 or 600 card machines all trying to process payments at the same time, it might slow things down, so people might be wise to have a bit of cash with them so they are not disappointed.

“Ninety per cent of the attractions will take cash or card.”

Garry said: “Really we are trying to cover all bases at Hull Fair this year. We’ve been able to look at things and plan for the past 18 months now and think we know all the possible pitfalls.


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“There may be something that needs drawing to our attention and if that’s the case, find a steward and point it out to them.”

The Showmen’s Guild has also been negotiating a slightly earlier opening time for the fair, and to stagger the finish instead of closing at 11pm, in a bid to prevent a large mass of fairgoers moving in one go.

The peripheral stalls tend to open first at about 4pm to 5pm, with the other sideshows and rides towards the centre following on.

“We are going to be as vigilant as we always are in keeping people safe,” said Garry. “I think if people use common sense, Hull Fair can be a fun, safe and happy event for everybody.”