There’s only a few weeks to go until thrill-seekers venture across the water to enjoy Hull Fair.
The Showmen’s Guild promises an even bigger and better year than last, with new rides, food and extended bus services.
This year’s fair starts on Friday October 4 and runs until Sunday, October 12 – but it will be closed on Sunday, October 6, as per tradition.
The Guild’s Yorkshire president, Gary Leach, says operators are already excited about this year’s fair after starting their planning and preparation process in January.
Gary told Hull Live: “Over the last four or five years it’s gone from strength to strength. The visitor numbers are up every year where everywhere else seems to be struggling but we are innovative and change things to move with the times.
“This year we are going to be doing lots of different things, people used to go for chips, burgers and candy floss but we do so much more now, so you can go and have some Greek street food and high end meals.
“We start with a debrief in January and start looking at the year after straight away and start putting things in place and speaking to people like the police, ambulance, security and the football club.
“I’d say we do something at least once a week for the whole 52 weeks of the year for Hull Fair. It’s a full team job.
“Then in May we start taking applications for people wanting to put their business there.”
Gary and his family have been to Hull Fair every year for more than 100 years, and both his father and grandfather were members of the Showmen’s Guild, reports Hull Live .
He has his own games stalls and rides, but he also paints and creates artwork for the fair.
He added: “I paint the horses on the carousels and the Waltzers. I’ve always had an interest in art and have done this since I was 13 and 14 and I have my business so I’m lucky enough to do this too.”
Gary said the Showmen’s Guild is hoping to have one of Europe’s biggest and highest rides, the XXL, come to Hull along with other new attractions.
He said: “We have a few of the staples like the Dodgems and the Waltzers and we’ve got some new things this year. People are thinking out of the box and trying to think of what people want. My daughter had some halloumi last year and that’s something people want to try.
“We’re really proud of what we do and the entertainment is great. You can come and not spend a penny.
What rides will be there?
As with every year, there is never a definitive list of every ride attending.
Hopefully, the attractions on offer will include the Air Ride, two Extreme rides, The Orbiter, dodgems, waltzers, ghost trains, Super Star rides, reverse bungee rope rides and some of the biggest fun houses in the UK.
We know that there was a new ride last year – the 40m high KMG XXL ride.
The towering ride was similar to some others at the fair but is much bigger.
On its website KMG says of XXL: “The big brother of the Afterburner and the Freak out. This mega attraction can reach the incredible height of 40m and for the swing, from side to side, a spectacular 47m.
“The XXL has a capacity of 20 passengers for each ride and has a very efficient ride cycle making a high through-put of passengers easily achievable.
“Transport for the XXL is provided on three semi-trailers. The construction time of this attraction amounts six to seven hours by four people.”
“We’ve managed to get the Park & Ride buses on for an extra half an hour, because last year the last bus would leave half an hour before the fair ended. It’s a little thing but it makes everyone’s day better.
“Another big thing we’re trying to work on is to get cash machines and card machines available at the fair. We don’t want to be behind the times. We’re hoping to have that all set up within the next two or three years.”
Gary said he is already looking forward to this year’s Hull Fair. With a year’s worth of work going into it, it must be a relief to see the smiles on people’s faces when it finally arrives.
He said: “It’s about making people smile and making sure they enjoy theirselves. My highlight of the year is Scarborough and Hull Fair.
“This year it’s going to be bigger and better than ever.”
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