Tradition plays a large part over the first weekend of May, and the Whitchurch area experienced it fully, with two May Fairs.

Saturday saw the now annual Maypole dancing on the Millennium Meadow which again included the crowning of the town’s Carnival Queen and Princess.

Although the day started off cold and cloudy with the odd shower but as if on cue the sun burst through to ensure that the May Day Celebrations continued without a shower in sight.
Whitchurch Town Mayor, Cllr Jackie Day was undertaking her last official duty before she hands over the role for the next year.

Crowning the Carnival Queen and Princess by The Mayor.

The crowning
Jackie said:

“Back in February I was delighted to be asked to join the panel of judges to decide who would be wearing the wonderful crowns this year.
I can honestly say the standard of the entrants was extremely high and the answers to our questions only made our deliberation all the more difficult, so well done to all those who entered.
With the help from my assistant (Mayor elect Cllr John Clark) we crowned the Carnival Princess (Catherine Hart) and Queen (Felicity Wells).”

The Maypole dancing commenced with a range of ages from the very young to the more mature….all were welcome to join in. For those waiting to take part there were stalls selling cakes, burgers and hotdogs.
Jackie added:

“The Festival Committee did a fantastic job in ensuring we all enjoyed ourselves and with Graham Burgess on hand to welcome us all you couldn’t ask for a better afternoon.”

Maypole dancing at Hurstbourne Priors.

More tradition at Hurstbourne Priors
The fine weather continued through the weekend and on Monday the annual May Fair was held in nearby Hurstbourne Priors.

This popular event brought in the crowds in their hundreds to enjoy a wide range of displays and activities, from dancing and story-telling, to golf, football, bouncy castles and coconut shies. Teas and cakes went down very well, especially for the many people who cycled over from Whitchurch, ranging from an 6 to a 76 year old. The Hog Roast and BBQ did a roaring trade as did craft and produce stalls and of course the bar with its real ale.
Again there was more Maypole dancing, as befits the holiday weekend, with young and old tangling the ribbons!

Morris Dancing in Whitchurch, Wednesday evening
English tradition would not be complete without Morris dancing, and tonight (Wednesday, May 8th) the Winchester Morris men will outside the Town Hall, jingling their bells, banging their sticks, and waving their handkerchiefs.

The Winchester Morris are celebrating their 60th birthday, having been formed in March 1953 and subject to not having been delayed by ale and merriment earlier in Overton, are planning to be dancing at 8.30pm.

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