Winchester Hat Fair 2015 has been and gone, and left me feeling exhausted! This weekend had some amazing weather to accompany the breathtaking array of street performers that entertained the crowds throughout the city centre. These are some of my favourite images and memories from the 3 day festival of traditional and contemporary street performance.

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[Above & Below:] Lead by a brass band ensemble from Henry Beaufort and Westgate schools, over 300 local schoolchildren from Winchester form a parade and march up the High Street towards the Cathedral.

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[Above] Local Woodland experts, Spinney Hollow display their skills and held workshops for those that wanted to make head-dresses, swords and staffs.

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[Above:] The Crazy Golf Company set up a wonderfully quirky miniature golf course in the Cathedral Outer Close.

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[Above & Below:] Various ‘unofficial’ buskers and street entertainers spring up in the busiest parts of the City, but unless you’re a scheduled artist, peoples eyes and ears are inevitably going to be drawn elsewhere!

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[Above] The Brooks Shopping Centre hosted various companies in the ‘Hat Fair Fringe’. Here, T3G Theatre, perform ‘Arcadia Made’.

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[Above:] In the North Walls Recreation Ground, next to the river, “Track” by Graeme Miller was a nice area of peace and tranquility, away from the madness of the City Centre. Invited to reflect, think and observe, participants lie on a wheeled cart and are slowly and gently pushed by their ‘Gondolier’ through the Willows.

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[Above:] “The Cloudmen”, inspired by Belgium surrealist artist Magritte, walk the Cathedral Outer Close.

Winchester Hat Fair 2015

[Above:] “Blanko” starts off as a blank white canvas and you are invited to paint him. Children were let loose, and this was the result after just two minutes!

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[Above:] Fraser Hooper delivered some of the funniest performances of the weekend. His interaction with the crowd was fantastic – as was his comedy boxing sequence, pure genius!

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[Above & Below:] On Saturday night, an unassuming patch of waste ground adjacent to the Bus Station, played host to a remarkable event called simply “Carousel”. Split into interactive and performance elements, the gathering crowd were treated to a variety of ‘traditional’ (and often creepy) sideshow activities…

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[Above:] Following the sideshow antics, the main event kicked off at 9:00pm on Saturday night with the Southpaw Dance Company performing “Carousel”. This stunning visual feast was set on a revolving fairground carousel, with world-class dancers putting on a spectacular twilight show.

More Winchester Hat Fair images HERE

Winchester Hat Fair 2015 Photography © Harvey Mills