Downton Cuckoo Fair
In 2022 the Fair returned after a 3 year break. In 2019 was our fortieth anniversary with a cavalcade of Downton minis and opening by the mayor of Salisbury. In 2018 we welcomed an over 20,000 visitors to our fair, with more than 300 craft, gift, homeware and food and drink stalls on the greens and in marquees along The Borough. The Downton Cuckoo Fair offers fun for all the family including rural craft demonstrations, Punch and Judy, clowns, fairground attractions (no inflatables) in the Memorial Gardens and a produce market in the car park behind the Co-op. The perfect day out in Wiltshire!
We have a wide range of entertainment during the fair including Maypole, Morris & traditional dancers, street entertainers, Downton Brass Band, and a host of live music being performed at The Bull Hotel, The Goat Inn and in the Memorial Gardens. Click for more information
There is also a wide selection of food and refreshments, along with facilities for the disabled – see our On Site Facilities
Downton comes alive for the whole weekend and anyone staying on holiday in the area will be interested to know that there are a number of excellent associated events over the rest of the ‘Mayday’ Holiday – see our Weekend Programme
There are ample car parks available, run by voluntary organisations and charities, with mini-buses running a Park and Ride service. To make the most of the your visit to the fair see the Visiting Menu options above.
If you are a fair visitor you can still contact your favourite exhibitors and help them with their custom during this difficult time by having a look at the stall holder A-Z directory https://cuckoofair.co.uk/details-of-stallholders-produce-market
The Downton Cuckoo Fair is held on the Saturday of the first Bank Holiday in May. This is usually the first Saturday in May but sometimes can be the last Saturday in April.
In 2023 the Downton Cuckoo Fair will be held on the 29th April 2023
We appreciate it’s a long way off and that some people are unaware of the link between the Fair and the Christmas Tree but the proceeds of the running the Fair are used to fund the purchase, delivery, erection, lighting and insurance of the Downton Christmas Tree every year. We also rely on the support of TreeMenders https://www.treemenders.org.uk/ when it is taken down.
We also ran the Partridge Fair but this is now being organised by a different group.
So, in these difficult and uncertain times we also want to bring some cheer to the village where we can and would like to confirm that the Cuckoo Fair will, as ever, be providing Downton with a village Christmas tree.
We hope this puts a little bit of sparkle in 2020 and very much hope that 2021 is a more optimisitic year but more especially we look forward to the prospect of welcoming you all to the best Fair ever in 2022!
Stall Holder Refunds
We understand that it is not easy to secure a stall at the Cuckoo Fair, which is why we would like to offer all stallholders who had carried over their booking fee from 2020 the chance to roll their booking over again to secure a stall in 2022.
As stated in our Terms and Conditions, we wouldn’t normally offer a refund if the Fair is cancelled, but given such likely difficult times ahead we would like to offer a refund to those who would prefer it, minus a £10 admin fee which will contribute to covering the costs we have incurred already this year.
To request a refund please follow the instructions in the email you have received.
This option will remain available until the end of April 2021
We aim to process refunds within a week of receiving them. Typically refunds are delayed if your bank details are incorrect so please check them especially the name of the account. These checks are being introduced by UK banks to help reduce online payment frauds. There is a phased introduction throughout 2020 – for details see this article from the UK Finance and this article from Which?
The payments have a reference DCF xxx RFND with xxx being your stall holder reference (not location of the your pitch) as printed on the letter from us.
Having cancelled the 2020 fair we unfortunately also had to cancel the 2021 fair. In terms of our funding situation the 2020 financial year incurred costs of £7,400 and the 2021 financial year will incur (fixed) costs of around £3,000. Taken together these have a large impact on the reserves we hold – reserves we need to pay our suppliers in the event of a last minute or emergency cancellation (eg Southampton Boat Show).
The £10 admin fee for each stall holder booking refund is noted in our terms and conditions and will help to cover some of the annual costs like insurance, rental and legal fees, that we have to pay regardless of whether the fair happens.
Our current understanding of government guidance is that unlike other businesses we have no employees (we are entirely volunteer supported), pay no rates, trade only once a year and so don’t qualify for any of the existing support schemes under COVID-19. Like other business who provide outdoor events we are working with trade organisations, eg the Events Industry Forum, to redress that but at the moment it appears we don’t qualify for any grants.
This admin fee money will therefore go towards ensuring that the Fair can happen in 2022 and we thank you for your understanding.
2023 – Date for your diary – Sat 29th April for the Fair!
To help stall holders plan for their events in 2023 the date of the fair will be 29th April 2023 (it’s always held on the Saturday of the first May Bank holiday).
The Downton Cuckoo Fair is friendly, fun and free to enjoy – and 2019 was our 40th year as the best family day out in Wiltshire!
With a family-friendly festival atmosphere, the fair is held on the village greens in the picturesque village of Downton, six miles south of Salisbury on the edge of the New Forest on the Wiltshire/Hampshire border.