Mill Road Winter Fair is a colourful and joyous celebration of community. From small beginnings in 2005, it’s become a vibrant fixture in the city’s calendar. Happening this year on Saturday 2 December, it draws local residents as well as visitors from across the country, who come together to celebrate the unique atmosphere and richness of life in this neighbourhood. I met with Marisa Crimlis-Brown, local resident and Winter Fair Committee member, to find out more.
“This Fair is all about different parts of the community coming together and there’s something here for everybody,” Marisa tells me. Cambridge Community Circus will be running circus skills workshops, so if you’ve ever wanted to try your hand at diablo or juggling, now’s your chance. Anglia Ruskin University, who are celebrating 40 years of university status, will be showing a display of local art in its Drama Studio on Covent Garden and will host various activities and venues, including a marquee on Petersfield with craft stalls and live music. You’ll find more local craftspeople in a large marquee outside Kelsey Kerridge Sports Centre. The Mosque on Mawson Road will open its doors and Cambridge University Museums will be running children’s activities and story telling sessions.
There’s going to be plenty of music along the street too. Cambridge 105 will be broadcasting throughout the day with a live stage featuring local artists. There’ll be buskers, the Cambridge University Brass Band, a barbershop chorus and gospel choirs as well as performances from local contemporary choirs. And you won’t be able to resist dancing in the street alongside performers including the Cambridge Swing Dancers and Arco Iris, our city’s very own community samba band.
“Come hungry!” is Marisa’s advice. As well as a wide variety of international cuisines offered by Mill Road’s cafes and restaurants, Gwydir Street car park will be a hub for street food and Thirsty will be running a bar with seating at St Barnabas Church, where you’ll also find food trucks and a reggae stage.
There’s so much going on at the Fair, much more than I can cover here so for the full programme, do check out their excellent website and also their Facebook page for news and regular updates. Details are at the end of this post.
The Winter Fair is organised and run by a small group of residents who always welcome people to the team to help with planning this event. And volunteers make the Fair happen on the day. For this year, they still need road stewards to help keep everyone safe so if you are aged over 18 and would be happy to help, email firstname.lastname@example.org
On 2 December, Mill Road will be closed to cars and bikes from East Road to Coleridge Road. The Fair opens at 10.30am and the organisers estimate that around 15,000 visitors will come to experience the sights, sounds and colours of the day. And there’s no need to leave once the Fair closes at 4.30pm ….. why not stay a little longer and enjoy the shops, cafes and restaurants of this vibrant neighbourhood?
Facebook: Mill Road Winter Fair
Mill Road, Cambridge CB1