The countdown is on for this year’s Ilkeston Charter Fair, one of the oldest and largest street fairs in Europe.
The town centre will once again be transformed into a colourful spectacle as rides, attractions and excitement pack into the Market Place and surrounding streets from Wednesday to Saturday, October 18 to 21.
It will be the 765th year the fair has visited Ilkeston, and Erewash borough councillor Mike Wallis said: “This historic event brings thousands of visitors into the town every year to enjoy the lovely atmosphere and to experience the thrills and excitement on offer at this celebrated street fair.
“We are always proud to welcome the Charter Fair and watch as it transforms the centre into a colourful scene, while we all – both young and old – look forward to enjoying all the fun of the fair!”
The fair will be given a ceremonial opening on Thursday, October 19 – when the mayor of Erewash, Councillor Mary Hopkinson, will ring the bell.
The traditional ceremony, which includes the reading of the 1252 Charter, takes place in front of the town hall and sees local families and visitors gather round to join the showmen to officially welcome the fair.
Guests at the opening ceremony will include representatives from other local authorities in Derbyshire and local schoolchildren.
The Charter Fair attracts thousands of people when it rolls into town with some of the biggest and best travelling rides in the country, from white-knuckle thrillers through to firm family favourites like the ghost train and dodgems.
Attractions are open from 6pm-11pm on Wednesday, then from 12noon to 11pm, Thursday to Saturday.
The Charter Fair transforms Bath Street, Market Place, East Street, South Street, Queen Street, Wharncliffe Road and Pimlico.
Residents’ parking schemes close to Ilkeston town centre will be temporarily suspended from Monday to Sunday, October 16-22 – a move which is taken every year in an effort to free-up car parking space.
Streets belonging to the residents parking scheme in the St Mary Street area are: Burns Street, Fullwood Street, Fullwood Avenue, Gregory Street, Jackson Avenue, New Lawn Road, St Mary Street, Wilmot Street.
In the Queens Drive area, the scheme covers: Albert Street, Cedar Park, Darwin Avenue, Queens Drive, Lissett Avenue, Moss Road.
From 5am on Tuesday to 12noon Sunday, Queen Street and Market Place will be closed entirely.
South Street will close from its junction with Derby Road to the Market Place, and Wharnfcliffe Road from Albert Street to the Market Place,
There will also be closures leading into Market Place on East Street and Bath Street, while Pimlico will shut from its junction with New Lawn Road to Burns Street.
A one-way system will be in place along Wharncliffe Road, Albert Street and Queen’s Drive to the junction with Oakwell Drive.
Diversions will be in place and signposted.
Several town centre car parks are always closed throughout the week to make way for the rides, stalls and fair vehicles.