The annual Warwick Mop Fair will be rolling back into town this weekend.
The fair, which goes back centuries, takes place over two weekends every October and fills the town centre with rides, stalls and other fairground attractions.
This year the Mop will be set up on Friday October 19 and Saturday October 20.
Many local shops have discount vouchers for the rides, and a selection of local businesses are also getting involved, offering special promotions to those who attend the Mop Fairs this year.
The event traces it’s history back almost 700 years to a time when local agricultural workers and domestic servants sought employment. They would be hired for a week, to assess their skills and for them to get to know their new employer. If either party was unhappy they were free to change and seek different employment at the Runaway Mop, however this was risky as if they agreed to a contract then, they were hired for the year.
Many traditions are still maintained during the modern fairs. The official opening ceremony, which will take place at noon on the Saturday (October 20), will see Warwick’s Mayor, Richard Eddy, reading the historic charter.
It is also the moment when this year’s colouring competition winners will receive their prizes.
Following the opening, the traditional pig roast is held along with a charity auction for the first slice of meat. The auction proceeds and sale of pork batches on the day will raise funds for the Mayor’s Charity.
On the Friday (October 19) there will also be the annual opening of the rides for the children from Ridgeway and Round Oak schools.
This occurs outside the advertised opening times, and the rides will not be available to the general public at this time.
Tommy Wilson, Mop organiser, has attended the Mop Fair for many years, and his family goes back even further, to the days when rides were steam powered. He said: “Warwick Mop is a tradition for the town, and a tradition for us as Showmen, we are proud to be keeping a part of Warwick’s heritage alive for future generations.”
The Warwick Mop will take place on Friday October 19 from 5pm to 10.30pm and on Saturday October 20 from noon until 10.30pm.
The same times will be in place for the Runaway Mop, which takes place over October 26 and October 27.
There will be a number of road closures in place for the Mop Fairs.
The will be closed from 5pm on Thursday October 18 until noon Sunday October 21 and again from 5pm on Thursday October 25 until noon on Sunday October 28.
Here is the schedule of roads to be closed:
Market Street – except for egress from the bus station and car park