Fairground families are warning they will turn their backs on Preston’s annual Whit Fair this weekend after it was controversially booted out of the city centre.
Many showmen say they are planning to go elsewhere for the Bank Holiday weekend, fearing they could lose money at the new-look event on Moor Park.
John Silcock, whose family have been regulars since the 1930s, revealed: “As far I can see there will be only three big rides at Moor Park - a quarter of what we normally get. There will be a selection of kiddies rides as well, but the bulk of the operators have found alternative venues for this weekend.
“They are reluctant to come to Moor Park because they don’t feel it will be as busy as the fair has been in the city centre.
“And of those who are still coming - including me - if it is a flop then there will be even more of a no-show next year and I would think that would be the end of it after around 200 years.”
Preston Council banned the fair from the city centre this year claiming it had outgrown the space available. While the Flag Market could have accommodated rides, it said the redevelopment of the markets quarter meant the site was no longer feasible.
John Silcock added: “For a handful of councillors to do this to such an historic event is disgraceful. I’ll be there at the weekend, but only because I have supported Preston all my life and I want to give it one more go.”
The council said two weeks ago it was confident the Showmen’s Guild “will provide the city with another great attraction.”
Moor Park, Deepdale Road.Friday: 5.30pm - 9pm.
Saturday: 1pm - 9pm.
Sunday: 1pm - 9pm.
Monday: 1pm - 6pm.