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Fairs

Michaelmas and Runaway Fairs

The Town Council hosts the annual Michaelmas Fair, which is known as the longest street fair in Europe. By law, the fair must take place annually on the Monday and Tuesday falling first before the 11 October in the centre of Abingdon-on-Thames: Ock Street, High Street and the Market Place. 

The origin of the fairs were for the hiring of labour in the period after the Black Death in 1348. The Runaway Fair was named because it was a chance for anyone who had made a mistake and started work with a master who was perhaps cruel or untrustworthy to literally run away and find another farm to work on at the fair one week later.

 

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