Flames in the night as Otley goes Victorian

Fire twirling from skilled performers will be one of the highlights at the fair

Fire twirling from skilled performers will be one of the highlights at the fair

First published in Local news Wharfedale Observer: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter

A spectacular fire show will be among the new attractions at this year’s Otley Victorian Fayre.

Performers will create burning shapes around their bodies and swallow flames in the 27th festive fun event from noon to 6pm on Sunday.

Organisers are hoping large crowds will turn out to enjoy what they say could be “the best one yet”.

School choirs, with the children dressed as Victorian urchins, will add to the atmosphere, joined by Guiseley Church Choir and The Select Few.

And, for the first time, Otley Word Feast members will recite seasonal passages from Dickens, Hans Christian Andersen and Lewis Carroll.

There will be performances from Otley Brass Band and the Salvation Army too, along with appearances by the Golden Lady and Silver Gentleman – street entertainers with a difference.

Children’s attractions range from Punch and Judy shows to real reindeer and donkey and fairground rides, while stalls will include treats like roasted chestnuts, mulled wine and a hog roast.

Fayre Commitee chairman Steph Lee is urging as many people as possible to “go Victorian” for the day.

She said: “Come along, dust off your Victorian costumes. It will be a fabulous day out for all the family.

“We have a host of street entertainment, including street organs, donkeys, Morris dancing, stilt walking, interactive statues and traditional mummers.

“There will also be a host of stalls offering a wide variety of gorgeous things to buy and taste.”

The fire show will be after dark at the crossroads between Kirkgate and Boroughgate. Much of the other entertainment will be from a stage in the market square, in front of which Scholes School will give a dancing display.

Father Christmas will be greeting children at Otley Lions’ grotto on Mercury Row, while other street acts will include Garforth Jubilee Brass Band and local bellringers.

Many shops will be joining in too, with traders setting up stalls outside.

Mrs Lee is asking for volunteers to help set up between 9am and noon. “We are not professionals. The common thread that joins us is a love for our beautiful town of Otley.”

E-mail enquiries@victorian fayre.co.uk or visit victorian fayre.co.uk for more details. Wine, beer or spirits are still wanted for the tombola. Drop them off at Otley Courthouse.

SCHEDULE

Noon: Fair opens; 12.15pm: Whartons Primary School on stage; 12.40pm: St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School on stage; 1.05pm: Westgate Primary School; 1.30pm: Punch and Judy; 2.10pm: Scholes School Dancers; 2.40pm: All Saints C of E Primary School; 3.10pm: Punch and Judy; 3.40pm: Pool C of E Primary School; 4.10pm: Guiseley Parish Church Choir; 4.30pm: Punch and Judy; 5pm: Select Few; Mummers: 1pm Kirkgate, 2.30pm Orchard Gate, 4.30pm Boroughgate; bell ringers: 2pm Orchard Gate; Otley Word Feast: 12.30pm, 2pm and 3.30pm in the Garden School of Courtyard Planters, 5 Westgate.

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