Thousands turn out to celebrate St Michaelmas Fayre in Gosport

Fayre crowds enjoy a rendition from the marching band
Fayre crowds enjoy a rendition from the marching band
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RESIDENTS from Gosport, Portsmouth and beyond ventured to Alverstoke village for the return of the popular Michaelmas Fayre.

Once again, the Green Road was closed off for a day of stalls, dancing, live music and festivities.

Gosport Rotary Club teamed up with St Mary’s Church to host this year’s festival, which featured marching bands, morris dancers and plenty of food and drink for the crowds.

Diana Bate of the WI has been attending the event, which ran from 12pm-4pm, for the last 20 years.

This year, herself and 15 others took turns to work on their stall supporting the parish regeneration fund.

Diana said: ‘The fayre gives a very positive message.

‘It is absolutely essential to the area. We are selling raffle tickets and raising money for the fund.

‘The fayre is all about community. You will see people decorating their houses and opening their doors to greet the public as they pass by. It’s amazing how we fit so much entertainment in such a small place – people travel from far away to come to visit!’

Crowds were wowed by the marching band as they drummed and marched their way through the village.

Men from The Gosport Shed choir sang through the afternoon.

Stalls lined the streets selling a variety of local produce including cider, cheese, homemade cakes and knitted items while other business such as Fragrant Living sold bath bombs and other toiletries. Charity stalls were set out to raise money for organisations including Macmillan.

Rotary club member Kenneth Eckersley said: ‘Our big community event has been running for around 27 years. We usually get around 3,000 visitors in the village. It’s so popular we actually have a huge waiting list of businesses wanting to get a stall at the fayre, but for health and safety reasons we need enough space for the live music, stalls and children’s activities.

‘We start setting up around 8.30am but preparation began months ago. In two months we will probably start planning next year’s event!

‘The most important thing is that we keep the festival going. It’s a fantastic day for everyone and really brings the community together.’