The Pole Fair is a major community celebration, which will take place on Friday 3rd June 2022. This unique tradition comes around every 20 years, attracting large crowds to enjoy outdoor attractions, entertainment and of course, the reading of the Royal Charter at the three entrances to the village.
There are lots of activities at Corby’s Pole fair, visitors can have their pictures taken in the old Stocks, or line the streets for the Walking Parade through Corby’s Old Village Town, Visit the Vikings and their encampment area in West Glebe Park, or join in the 1940s reconstructed Tea Dance, listen to Storytellers speak of the history of the village and it’s Toll Free Charter, enjoy a ‘Ox Roast’, or later bust your moves with the Hip Hop Ceilidh.
The traditions associated with the Pole Fair date back to the Royal Charter granted by Elizabeth I (which coincides with our present Queen Elizabeth Platinum II Jubilee celebrations also this year 2022) in 1585.
The day will begin early with the local vicar at St. John’s church, Rev. Paul Frost reading the charter to local residents and then both himself and; the Town’s new local Mayor, Cllr. Tafadzwa Chikoto and also the town’s oldest resident will be carried on a seat to mark the opening of the fair and there will be free breakfast in the morning for those earlier enough to attend after the morning church bells have rung to announce it’s opening. It also became a custom in the fair to ‘climb the greased telephone pole’ for a chance to win a joint of ham placed at the top of the pole. This year for Health and Safety reasons the pole will be present with a “knitted Ham” at the top for people to take photos of it.
Throughout the day there is a plethora of activities; Jousting tournament re-enactments, there will be markets; souvenir stalls, food stalls offering a smorgasbord of delights and gifts for everyone to buy and a large funfair and live music at one of the many stages built in the Park and green areas around the Old Corby Village. There are plenty of events for families with children to take part in including seeing the Pole Fair Parade where there will be giant puppets, or enjoy the Teddy Bears picnic, or enjoy the numerous Children Entertainers, or for the older children a chance to enjoy the historical heritage trail, skateboard or BMX bike ramps set up, face painting, circus workshops, retro games and crafts, Graffiti art by Custom Walls,, lawn games mini tennis, and loads more sporting; artistic or educational activities on offer. In line with the idea of making the fair inclusive to everyone visiting it, the cost is simply the £1 entrance fee per individual (although some food, funfair activity and stalls selling goods are priced on top)
The fair is being organised by a steering group of local volunteers and cultural organisations, including Made With Many who have secured investment from the National Lottery Heritage Fund to make the fair happen and support heritage activity before, during and after the event.
Get regular updates by following Corby Pole Fair on Facebook. Pole Fair updates will also be published in Made With Many’s e-newsletter or visit the Corby Pole Fair official website
Below is a video of past Corby Pole fairs which can also be seen on the MadeWithMany YouTube channel