Mill Road Winter Fair was designed to celebrate the variety of cultures represented by the residents and traders of the Mill Road area and the unique atmosphere of the neighbourhood.
The inaugural Mill Road Winter Fair happened on Saturday 3rd December 2005. Three years later, the following comment was overheard by a passer-by in the neighbourhood: “Mill Road is great! It even has its own Fair. Apparently it’s been going on for hundreds of years.” The Winter Fair does indeed have that feeling about it!
The first Fair stretched, even then, from Petersfield on East Road to Romsey Mill. The inaugural Fair attracted acts which have since become a tradition. These included the Arco Iris Samba Band; the Chinese Dragon; Morris Dancers going from place to place, with increasingly erratic steps; a Mill Road walk by Allan Brigham; the Mosque welcoming people to question and answer sessions; and Christmas services and stories at the various churches of Mill Road.
Suzy Oakes, whose commemorative bench on the Mill Road bridge pays tribute to her as Champion of the Road, was certainly a Champion of the Fair, and her involvement in its early years laid down the foundations of where we are today. Read more about Suzy on the Mill Road Bridges website.