Historic Mop Fair returns to Warwick

Photo provided by the Warwick Mop Fair organisers.
Photo provided by the Warwick Mop Fair organisers.

The annual tradition of the Mop Fair – which goes back centuries – will be returning to Warwick this weekend.

The fair, which takes place over two weekends every October, fills the town centre with rides, stalls and other fairground attractions.

The Mop will be set up on today (Friday) and tomorrow (Saturday) and the Runaway Mop will take place on October 20 and October 21.

On both weekends the fair will open at 5pm on Fridays and at noon each Saturday.

The event traces its history back almost 700 years, with its origins as a hiring fair for agricultural workers, where they sought employment for the year ahead and were paid a token wage by their new employer. They were then given a trial period lasting until the Runaway Mop, where they had the option to continue or seek a new employer.

Many traditions are maintained at the current fair, including the official opening ceremony which takes place at noon on the Saturday.

The Mayor of Warwick Stephen Cross will declare the fair officially open after reading the historic charter. After the opening, the traditional pig roast is held with a charity auction for the first slice of meat. The auction proceeds and sale of pork batches will raise funds for the Mayor’s Charity.

Road closures will be in place during the fair. The following roads will be closed from October 12 at 4pm until October 15 at noon: Brook Street, Swan Street, Market Place, Market Street, New Street, Old Square and The Holloway.