Street party from the past

Banbury’s old town came alive with music and fun as shoppers joined a massive street party to celebrate independent traders.

On Saturday, shops, pubs and restaurants in Parson’s Street, Church Lane, Church Walk, White Lion Walk and Market Place joined in the fun as the Old Town Summer Fiesta and Street Organ Festival got under way.

Steel drums and a jazz band provided music for dancing – while face painting, balloon modelling, mask-making and children’s workshops added to the fun.

Street entertainers, giveaways,  and stalls selling food and drink completed the attractions.

The event was organised to highlight the smaller individual traders in the old streets.

Street organists from around the country provided background music and collected cash for the mayor’s fund that will be divided between charities in Banbury at the end of the mayoral year.

​Mayor Cllr Colin Clarke said: “I remember when Parson’s Street, High Street, Market Place and Church Lane were the town’s main shopping areas.

“That was before supermarkets, shopping centres and out-of-town retail parks.

“I hope some of the people who perhaps ‘discovered’ the old town at the fiesta will continue to use the shops, pubs and restaurants on a regular basis.

“I’d like to thank the street organists who came from far and wide to raise money for local charities. They, too, are a reminder of years gone by.”

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