As Hull Fair 2023 approached, the excitement in the air was palpable. This year marked an incredible 744 years since Hull Fair was first royally chartered in Hull. The city geared up for a celebration like no other. Opening its gates on Friday, October 6th, this iconic event took over 16 acres of the Walton Street car park, promising a diverse array of attractions that catered to every member of the community, including adults with learning disabilities.
Hull Fair has always been a place where everyone can have fun, regardless of their abilities. With over 300 attractions on display, the fair offered a spectrum of experiences for visitors. From the heart-pounding roller coasters and white-knuckle rides that thrill-seekers craved, to the nostalgic charm of games like hook-a-duck, there was something for everyone to enjoy.
For those who preferred a gentler adventure, there were more than 80 rides designed with children in mind. Trampolines, fun houses, helter-skelters, and mini versions of teenage rides like the mini Miami, mini waltzer, and jumping jack ensured that even the youngest fairgoers could create lasting memories.
Inclusivity in Action
One of the most exciting aspects of Hull Fair 2023 was its commitment to inclusivity. The fair took significant steps to ensure that individuals with learning disabilities could fully enjoy the experience.
Hull Fair understood that sensory sensitivities could be a challenge for some individuals with learning disabilities. To create a comfortable environment, designated quiet areas were available where visitors could take a break from the hustle and bustle.
Friendly and trained staff were on hand to assist visitors with learning disabilities, ensuring they had a seamless and enjoyable experience. Whether it was providing information, helping with accessibility needs, or offering support and guidance, the staff was committed to making everyone feel welcome.
Opening Ceremony and Parade
The official opening ceremony of Hull Fair, which took place on Friday, October 6th, at 5 pm, was a grand spectacle that brought the community together. The Lord Mayor of Kingston upon Hull rang the bell on showman Andrew Harniess’s Sea Storm ride, followed by a short parade featuring a pipe band and a steam car transporting the Lord Mayor. It was a moment of unity and celebration that set the tone for the entire fair.
Dates and Times
Hull Fair was open daily from Friday, October 6th, to Saturday, October 14th, with the only exception being Sunday. The opening hours were as follows:
- Friday, October 6th: 5 pm to 11 pm
- Saturday, October 7th: 12 noon to 11 pm
- Sunday, October 8th: Closed
- Monday, October 9th: 2 pm to 11 pm
- Tuesday, October 10th: 2 pm to 11 pm
- Wednesday, October 11th: 2 pm to 11 pm
- Thursday, October 12th: 2 pm to 11 pm
- Friday, October 13th: 2 pm to 11 pm
- Saturday, October 14th: 12 noon to 11 pm
Food and Drink Delights
Hull Fair has always been a treasure trove of culinary delights, and this year was no exception. New food and drink options for 2023 included bubble tea, loaded hot chocolates, footlong fries, and whoopie pies. It was a smorgasbord of flavours that tantalised taste buds and offered something for everyone.
Accessibility and Transportation
For those concerned about accessibility and transportation, Hull Fair had it covered. Limited parking was available within the MKM Stadium car park, charged at £6 per car. Additionally, Hull Fair buses were operating, along with park-n-ride services from Priory Park and Humber Bridge car park, ensuring that everyone could easily reach the festivities.
A Tradition of Inclusion
As we look back on Hull Fair 2023, it’s heartening to see how this centuries-old tradition evolved to become more inclusive and accessible. With its wide range of attractions, sensory-friendly spaces, and dedicated staff, Hull Fair set an example of how to create an inclusive carnival experience for all, including adults with learning disabilities.
Lord Mayor, Councillor Kalvin Neal, encapsulated the spirit of Hull Fair when he said, “It’s something we all look forward to, and I have no doubt this year was no different.” It’s a sentiment shared by everyone involved in making Hull Fair an event that truly welcomes and celebrates the diversity of our community.
Hull Fair was a celebration that brought us all together, reminding us that the heart of any community lies in its ability to embrace everyone, regardless of their abilities or differences. Hull Fair was a shining example of this spirit of inclusivity, and it was an event we could all be proud of.