Traders provide all the fun of the fair

SAMBA bands, belly dancers and a BMX museum drew the crowds to the St John’s Street Fair this weekend.

Bunting lined the street as independent traders in the popular shopping area in Bury St Edmunds laid on stalls, food and entertainment to attract hundreds of visitors to the event on Saturday.

The fair was buzzing with activity as families and shoppers browsed the various stalls and attractions on offer.

Katherine Hutchings, 46, from Cockfield, enjoyed the colourful performance by the Green Dragon Morris Dancers, who are a traditional fixture at the annual event. “I love the fair,” she said. “It is fabulous.

“It gives the feel of the way shops used to be.

“I think more shops should have stalls outside as it really creates a community atmosphere.”

Benson Blakes Bar and Grill laid on a barbecue to tempt shoppers’ tastebuds while Walkabout gift shop held a stall to showcase their stock.

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Matt Gilson, deputy manager at the bar, said business had been brisk thanks to the kind weather and party atmosphere.

“It was a very good day for both the public and the traders in the street,” he said.

“The fair is a real focal point in the calendar as it highlights what the street has to offer.

“Unfortunately, with the big shopping centre, people sometimes just walk straight through town without branching off.

“But on Saturday, you couldn’t help but hear the music and it certainly drew a crowd.”

Visitors could enjoy meals in the sunshine at The Bay Tree Cafe while biking enthusiasts were also catered for as specialist store Hardcore Hobbies staged a BMX Museum outside their business.

Amber Garnish, 20, from Bury was soaking up the short bursts of sunshine while taking in the stalls with friends.

“The fair is really nice,” she said. “It brings the community together and it is lovely. I enjoy it every year. It’s a tradition in town.”

Richard Poole of Aubyn Davies menswear store, joined with other independent traders in the street to helped organise the event.

“It went very well, we are very pleased,” he said. “It really unites the street.

“We are all independent traders and completely different but we all want to attract more people to this end of town.

“We want to people to be happy end enjoy themselves.”

Businesses also provided prizes for a raffle which was also held on the day in aid of St Nicholas Hospice Care.