Preparations made for ‘village fete at the heart of the city’

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THE grounds of St Mary’s Church in Fratton will become a hive of fun and activity on Monday.

The church is preparing to host its annual May Fair, to take place between 10am and 4pm. The event usually attracts more than 10,000 visitors and will feature Morris dancers, funfair rides and a real ale tent.

There will also be bouncy castles, pony rides and brass bands.

The vicar of St Mary’s, Father Bob White, said: ‘This is one of our highlights of the year and we look forward to sharing the space with so many people as we celebrate together the life of the community of which we are a part.

‘It is an amazing event with more than 10,000 visitors and an army of over 100 volunteers who make it possible.

‘It is a village fete in the heart of the city.’

About 100 stalls selling everything from cakes to bric-a-brac will be there as well. The real ale tent – which will also serve perry and cider – will offer more than 40 varieties of beer, many of them brewed in Hampshire.

Visitors will also be able to ascend the church’s winding staircase right up to its apex to enjoy views across the city.

Inside the church, there will be an organ concert and a performance by the St Mary’s choir.

Organisers are working with the community group, Fratton Big Local, to explore ways of improving spaces of celebration in the area.