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Hull fair: where cotton candy meets Carnival Caos

Hull fair: where Cotton Candy meets Carnival Caos

A timeless tradition in East Yorkshire

Before we dive into the laughter and excitement, let's immerse ourselves in the rich history of Hull Fair.


Imagine this: Hull Fair has been captivating crowds since the late 13th century. Yes, you read that correctly! This extravaganza has been around longer than the invention of electricity, the clock and the wonder of technology that is the wheelbarrow!


Hull Fair's roots can be traced back to 1279, when King Edward I granted a charter to the town Wyke upon Hull to host an annual fair, although it is believed that it existed well before that. Back then, it was a simple offering, a place where merchants gathered to trade their wares and farmers displayed their livestock. It was a practical event, a time for the community to come together and engage in commerce and earn their living.

War and Resilience

The history of Hull Fair took a poignant turn during World War II. The fair was temporarily halted during the war due to the need for blackout restrictions and the use of the fairgrounds staff for military purposes. This hiatus, however, only served to fuel the anticipation and longing for the fair's return among the people of Hull.


After the war ended, Hull Fair made a triumphant comeback. Lord Mayor John Nicholson saying “if any place in the country was entitled to relaxation, it was the battered city of Hull”. The resilience of the fair mirrored the resilience of the community itself. It was a symbol of recovery and a testament to the unwavering spirit of Hull's residents, which was the most bomb-damaged city outside of London during the war. This ‘North East Coastal Town’ as it was referred to for security reasons had approximately 95% of its homes and businesses damaged or destroyed.


A Modern Challenge: COVID-19

In the grand tapestry of Hull Fair's history, there was another chapter, a chapter marked by a modern challenge - the COVID-19 pandemic. Just like the fairgrounds had been called upon during World War II, they faced a different kind of challenge in 2020.


As the world grappled with the pandemic, Hull Fair was closed for the first time in decades. The decision to temporarily shut its gates was a difficult one, made with the safety and well-being of fairgoers in mind. It was a poignant moment in the fair's history, a reminder of the extraordinary times we live in.


Feasting at the Fair

Now, let's talk about one of the most beloved aspects of Hull Fair - the food and drink. It's a culinary experience like no other, where your taste buds are in for a treat, and your appetite knows no bounds. Throw the diet out of the window and brace yourself for some proper top nosh!


  1. Traditional Treats: Begin your gastronomic adventure with the classics. You want Fish and chips wrapped in newspaper? You got it. Head to Bob Carvers for a true Hull experience. You want that classic hot dog or burger smothered in onions and cheese? It’s yours! However, don’t forget the sublime hog roasts, the Yorkshire Pudding wraps and of course the locally delicacy of a Pattie Butty!


  1. Sugar Rush: Next up, satisfy your sweet tooth. Hull Fair offers an array of sugary delights, from toffee apples that are a sticky yet delightful challenge to eat, to brandy snaps with their intricate lace-like patterns, and let's not forget the spun sugar magic of candyfloss that's bigger than your head. Are you a fan of gummies as long as your arm or maybe even just a simple bag of pick ‘n mix, it’s all here and waiting for you to discover.


  1. Global Flavours: For those with a taste for the exotic, Hull Fair has you covered. Explore the flavours of the world with stalls offering everything from mouth-watering kebabs, tantalising curries to Chinese noodles. It's a journey for your palate that spans the globe.


  1. Quenching Your Thirst: After indulging in all these delectable treats, you'll need something to wash it down. Hull Fair doesn't disappoint with its selection of beverages. From refreshing soft drinks to a warm cup of tea or mulled wine, there's a drink to complement every dish or just to help the night along or take off the chill!


A Sense of Community

But it's not all about the food. Hull Fair is a place where the community comes together, and the people of Hull are as warm and welcoming as the fair is delightful. You'll bump into old friends, make new ones, and share stories about your latest victories on the fair games and crashes on the dodgems.

The people of Hull are known for their friendliness and hospitality, making Hull Fair not just a carnival but a gathering of friends, both old and new. It's a reminder that beneath the chaos and cotton candy, there's a sense of togetherness that makes Hull Fair truly special.


So, whether you're a seasoned Hull Fair veteran or a first-time visitor, one thing is for sure – Hull Fair is a glorious collision of laughter, lights, and lungful’s of candy-scented air. It's a place where paramedics like me might get called in for the occasional candyfloss-related emergency, but we're always here to keep the fun going.


Join the revelry, embrace the chaos, and savour the sights, sounds and flavours because Hull Fair is a delightful slice of life that reminds us all to let loose and enjoy the ride!


Perhaps this could be part of your adventures in East Yorkshire?

You can then return to the tranquillity of Acorn glade glamping and breathe Retreat, Relax and Reconnect.

With thanks to our guest Stewart fletcher for writing this blog.