Popular Long Melford street fair dropped after growing “too big” for Lovejoy village

A packed Hall Street during a previous Long Melford street fair

A packed Hall Street during a previous Long Melford street fair - Credit: Andy Abbott

A popular annual summer street fair has been cancelled this year because it has become “too big” for the picturesque Suffolk village where it takes place, the parish council has decided.

The Long Melford Street Fair, which alongside the Big Night Out fireworks display has been one of the highlights of the local community’s social calendar and attracts thousands of visitors, usually takes place early July.

But this year the parish council which has been beset by problems with infighting over the past year has decided to “go back to its roots” and stage a smaller event for the village to enjoy.

According to council chairman Jayne Lines, the street fair had become too big to control because of the sheer number of people that descend upon Long Melford for the day.

She said: “The general thought among the parish councillors was that the street fair wasn’t current any more and that it had become more for outsiders rather than for the village.

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“Like the Big Night Out, it has got bigger and bigger with youngsters having too much to drink and things getting vandalised. We have also had a job getting businesses on board with the street fair because the pubs are the only ones making money from it.

“We decided that instead we wanted to bring back something specifically for the village so we are going back to our roots with village fetes and big picnics where the locals can walk to the green and there will be no issues with the volume of cars trying to park.”

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Not everyone is on board with plans to scrap the fair. Parish councillor Carole Michette has been one of the event’s main organisers for past eight years.

She said: “This very popular event to promote Long Melford has been fully self funding for at least the last five years, with any profit we made going back into the village for community projects.

“There is a balance in excess of £3,000 left in the street fair account which would have been used to put on the 2016 event. Prior to our involvement on the committee the event was costing the parish council £2,000 per year.”

Babergh councillor John Nunn, who served on the street fair organising committee said some of the remaining money would be used to stage the village fete or picnic.

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