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Olney Traditions



The Cherry Fayre is Olney's traditional 'Country Fair' with country dancing, side-shows, produce stalls, teas, a barbecue and bouncy castle as well as a dog show, demonstrations and the Men's Pancake Race.

The name 'Cherry Fair' is reminiscent of the days when Olney produced a large commercial cherry crop each year. What was left over at the end of the harvest was sold off each year at the Cherry Fair.

As the event fell so close to the Parish Church Patronal Festival for St Peter and St Paul, the town took a holiday and the travelling fair would come (as it still does).

On the same weekend (usually the last in June), the Olney duck and raft races are held. Each  duck is numbered and sponsored and raises about a thousand pounds for the local scout group. Divers help if the ducks are becalmed - and clear them up afterwards.

The keenly contested raft race sees local groups build their own vessel and paddle it from the bridge near St.Peter and St.Paul church to the 'steps' by the Olney playing fields.

A thunderbirds themed craft was the souce of much discussion and laughter in 2009. The winners of the mens race have been competing for 20 years (and won by just 4 seconds).

Stalls, ice creams and a band are laid off at the finish and many people gather at the steps to welcome in the crews.



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