This Friday, 24 April sees the annual ‘Walking the Fair’ event in Walsall.
Each year the Mayor, guests and townsfolk walk the symbolic route through the town centre and Walsall Market in recognition of the vital role that markets play in establishing enterprise in the town.
According to its organisers Walsall Civic Society, the age-old walk is steeped in history and dates back as far as 1662. It heralds the opening of annual fairs, or markets and celebrates the town’s right to trade. This right was originally granted in Walsall’s charter by King Charles I.
The Mayor of Walsall, Peter Smith will lead this year’s celebration from the town centre.
He said, “This is a vibrant and colourful event and a highlight of my Mayoral Year. It is important to value heritage events like Walking the Fair as it not only keeps the tradition alive, but provides entertainment for local people. I’m delighted to be taking part and look forward to chatting to our time honoured traders along the way.”
The opening to the walk starts at 10.30am in the square outside The Crossing at St Paul’s in Darwall Street, adjacent to the Bus Station.
Performance highlights from outside the church include a special ‘Sister Dora Dance’ from The Glorishears of Brummagem Morris dancers, and a special call to order from the Town Crier, Cyril Richardson, who will then give readings from the Ruffus Charter of 1225, the town’s oldest document.
The procession, which is expected to last an hour, will then cross The Bridge and move up Bradford Street and through the Market, where the Mayor will meet with traders who have collected gifts for his charity.
All are welcome to join in the walk.