Thousands join in the celebrations at the annual Patcham Duck Fayre

THOUSANDS of people have returned for what organizers say is the largest community celebration yet.

Families and local residents came out to enjoy the fun, musical performances and browse the community booths at this year’s Patcham Duck Fayre.

Children were seen playing on a bouncy castle and other rides, others learned circus skills and watched a dog show, with prizes such as wiggling tail, best rescue and best show.

The Argus: Crowds watched as the judges determined the dog show winnersCrowds watched as the judges determined the winners of the dog show

This year’s Patcham Junior and High School event also featured a model version of the People’s Railway, courtesy of the Brighton Model Railway Club.

The Patcham Duck Fayre Revival Group, a group of community volunteers organizing the event, said they expect up to 5,000 people to attend today’s celebrations.

The Argus: A working model of the Volksbahn that was presented at this year's Duck FayreA working Volksbahn model as part of this year’s Duck Fayre

Sally Booth, Chair of the Group, said: “It’s fantastic and looks lovely – it’s even bigger than last year, with more stalls and a tea tent.

“Post Covid I think people still want to get out and meet friends again and the event brings people from Patcham and the surrounding area together.

“Provided the weather holds, I think the fayre encapsulates the end of summer and I love the event’s traditional old-fashioned village style.

“We never want to get too commercial – we just want to stick to local talent, local crafts and local people.”

The Argus: Sally Booth said it wasSally Booth said it was “fantastic” to see so many people attending this year’s event

Among the stands at the fair is a Ukrainian arts and crafts tent that is helping to raise money for those affected by the ongoing Russian invasion.

Sally said it was important to show that Patcham showed solidarity with those affected by the war.

She said: “We want to hug and support our friends – what we find is that the charities here are raising huge amounts of money, although as a group we don’t raise money for charity ourselves.”

Around £35,000 was raised by charities at last year’s event, including the RSCPA, Brighton Lions Club and the 44th Brighton Scout Group, who originally started the event in the 1980s.

The Argus: Families lined up to get their faces painted for the occasionFamilies lined up to have their faces painted for the occasion

Although no one is quite sure why the Patcham-based scout group dubbed the festival Duck Fayre, current organizers suggest that ducks from the pond in front of All Saints Church on Church Hill used to wander down the road into the village just to being chased back up the hill by local residents with brooms.

Those interested in getting involved in organizing next year’s event are encouraged to email Thousands join in the celebrations at the annual Patcham Duck Fayre

Fry Electronics Team

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