Get ready to step into a world of vibrant colors, heart-thumping rides, and centuries-old traditions! The 2023 Ilkeston Charter Fair takes place from Wednesday October 18th through Saturday October 21st, and oh, what a spectacular show it will be!
Imagine it: for nearly a week, the heart of Ilkeston Town Centre transforms into a sprawling fairground filled to the brim with spellbinding lights, eye-catching colors, and non-stop action. This beloved event captivates the hearts of thousands of visitors, who flock to experience the adrenaline rush of white-knuckle rides and the nostalgic charm of traditional side-shows.
The Ilkeston Charter Fair is a living, breathing piece of history, older even than Nottingham’s famous Goose Fair! Granted by King Henry III in 1252, this fair has grown into one of the largest street fairs in all of Europe. Its royal charter, starting with the words ‘Know ye that we have granted…,’ is a testament to the enduring legacy of this fair.
The roots of the Ilkeston Charter Fair stretch back to the time of Hugh de Muskham, who was granted the right to host a market on Thursdays and an annual fair by the king himself. Initially a trading event, the fair soon became a grand celebration complete with amusements and festivities.
Our fair has been graced by famous show families, including Samuel Taylor, the renowned Ilkeston Giant. The historic bonds between the showmen and local authorities have been cherished and nurtured, leading to the fair’s first civic opening in 1931. Since 1974, Erewash Borough Council has been committed to upholding this tradition, fostering this unique friendship, and making the fair bigger and better every year.
So, come join us in this grand celebration, a testament to the enduring spirit and vibrant history of Ilkeston. We can’t wait!