It’s Hat Fair time! Here in the lovely city of Winchester we are in the midst of preparing for the busiest and most fun time of year! A time where our cider is pouring through the streets and customers walk around with burnt shoulders and full bellies. Hat Fair is a 45-year old tradition here in Winchester and is the chance for the community to let go, have some fun and also get involved in lots of creative activities and shows! But to those of you who are unaware about this insane weekend, allow us to give you the lowdown!
Starting a long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away (Winchester in 1974 to be exact) Hat Fair began as a simple busking festival – an act that Winchester is still full of today, with an array of talent on the High Street every day of the week! Over the last few years the event has become a bustling creation of street acts, music performers and a celebration of the arts in the former capital of England. Despite its origins in music, the weekend has become one of a celebration of the arts, being partnered with the Arts Council England and Winchester Council and having a huge amount of support from Without Walls, an association of arts organisations and festivals, striving to increase development of the UK’s outdoor arts.
Here at the Winchester Stable, this is an event we soundly support. We love providing our customers with a bespoke experience, working with the community and in particular our staff in order to make it the most welcoming atmosphere possible! With so many members of our staff coming from artistic backgrounds, Hat Fair is something that adheres to our values. It’s a chance to let your hair down, be free and have a good time surrounded by like-minded people. Like our restaurant, it brings together both the young and old to have fun and socialise. Have we mentioned that Hat Fair is free to attend?! The event relies solely on donations in order to run year after year and each year the beautiful people of Winchester and others around the country pool together enough money to keep this event running. The event runs on the inspiration and energy of the people who attend. Some of the events this year include an illumination show, drag queen and queer performances and a dance and circus show!
Keep an eye out for our Stablehands, who will be wandering around central Winchester, handing out free samples of both our pizzas and cider. Follow them back to our own cathedral to cider and watch the festivities from our open bay windows and bask in the sun as you tuck into some delicious pizza and guzzle down some refreshing cider! The festival is running throughout our own cider awards as well! We are pitting 10 different ciders against each other in the war of the summer, and you, our Cider Heads, are what stands between them and the top spot. You are able to vote via our app, online or in store! Just drop your favourites into the voting box on our bar and join in on the biggest cider event of the season.
So if the sound of drinking in the streets, being mystified by the array of talent that surrounds you and catching a bit of tan interests you, then head down to Winchester for the 5th-7th of July, and we here at the Winchester Stable shall be graciously awaiting your arrival!