The information below is a description from the 2023 Fair to show what kind of things take place at the Fair.
There’s a lot going on at this year’s Fair, which is on Saturday 2nd December from 10.30am to 4.30pm! Some of the wonderful attractions are described below but be sure to look out for much, much more on the day!
The spots below are shown in order from East Road to Coleridge Road. You can also see a map of the Fair, showing each location.
The Main Parade
This year’s parade has a new twist: a finale that is designed to get the party started via an uplifting medley of current talent in Cambridge. The main parade starts at the Salisbury Club at 12.15pm with music plus dances from students at Coleridge Create and friends, produced by Rebecca (Bex) Lewis. The parade will move down Mill Road, reaching Donkey Common by 1pm. The schools taking part include Coleridge, Parkside and Trumpington Community Colleges, The Galfrid School, and Cambridge Academy for Science and Technology.
Meanwhile, a group of MixDat DJs will provide fresh beats at the Cambridge 105 tent on Donkey Common starting at 12.40pm. At 1pm, the young talented rapper Elgeeuu will combine with the amazing Bodywork theatre school, who will break out their dances to afro-beats from MixDat.
Look out too for Bodywork’s clothing, designed by the founder of local urban streetwear brand WEARESOFRESH clothing, Sean Chipendo, to celebrate the diverse community of Mill Road.
Zion Baptist Church
Join us for our Christmas Tree Festival with a Narnia theme plus Father Christmas. We will be giving out hot chocolate, tea, non-alcoholic mulled wine and mince pies for free. We will have plenty of seating plus toilets, included disabled access ones and baby change.
Kay Barrett will be continuing the tradition of making a candlelit labyrinth on Petersfield specially for the Winter Fair. Kay says: “The labyrinth is a great symbol of community and will be available for walking from about 11am. Folk of all ages and speeds are welcome! Slow and meditative, fast and fun, anything goes.” If you would like to help with the labyrinth-making, come along to Petersfield at 10.30am. We’ll be using corn to make the lines of the labyrinth on the grass. It’s a fun team activity and takes about 30 minutes. At dusk, we’ll light the labyrinth with tea lights in jam jars. If you would like to help with the candle lighting, please come at 3pm. For more information, contact Kay at [email protected] or check out her blog at www.kayspathway.com
Mill Road History Tour
Start: 8.45am at the junction of Mortimer Road and Mill Road. The tour (approximately 90 minutes) is led by Green Badge Guides Sophie Smiley and Veronica Speirs, and the route is accessible to all. Price £15 on the day, £13 if booked in advance; children under 16 free. Book via [email protected]. A donation will be made to Mill Road History Society.
Come and find out about the local people who lived in Mill Road: stories of the mill, murder, pubs, the workhouse, intrepid women on camels, a German spy… and much more. After the arrival of the railway, this street was a place where you could get everything, from birth to death. Learn how to uncover the hidden marks previous inhabitants left behind – and perhaps share some memories of your own.
Join us for our second oyster fair at this year’s Fair. Find us outside the shop at No.2, from 11am, with a smorgasbord of gorgeous fishy delights and Fin Boys faves including our prawn toast, plenty of oysters of course, and smoked haddock chowder!
Friends of Mill Road Cemetery are offering four tours of the Cemetery. Meet at the Mill Road entrance to the Avenue of Limes. Maximum Number: 16. All tours are weather-dependent. The tours will follow main paths so are wheelchair and buggy friendly. Whilst start times are fixed, end times depend on things like the weather and number of people.
- 11am-12pm: History, People and Nature, led by Diana Cook.
- 12-1pm: Mark Tinkler: Pubs and Publicans.
- 1-2pm: Cooks, Bakers and Hoteliers, led by Claire Martinsen.
- 2-3pm: Monuments – How to Find Them, Read Them and Research the Families. led by Mary Naylor.
Cambridge Steiner School Choir at ARU Drama Centre
Cambridge Steiner School Choir will be performing Christmas carols at the ARU Drama Centre on Covent Garden at 11am.
Films at ARU Drama Centre
Cambridge Film Projects are proud to present a celebration of cinema to accompany the Mill Road Winter Fair. We have programmed a range of films to bring the big screen experience back to the heart of Mill Road in the Covent Garden ARU Drama Studio, just a stone’s throw from the site of The Playhouse, Cambridge’s very first purpose-built cinema. The programme will be:
- ARU Shorts: Reportage. Playing prior to each main feature. Cambridge School of Art BA Illustration students present a 10-minute looped film featuring drawings first-year students have made of shops and businesses on Mill Road and happenings in the various departments of Anglia Ruskin University.
- 2.30pm: Song of the Sea (PG), 93 mins (2014). Animated children’s fantasy film. Ben, a young Irish boy, and his little sister Saoirse, a girl who can turn into a seal, go on an adventure to free the fairies and save the spirit world.
- 5pm: Man with a Movie Camera (PG), 68 mins (1929). Experimental Soviet silent documentary film, directed by Dziga Vertov. A man travels around a city with a camera slung over his shoulder, documenting urban life with dazzling invention.
- 7pm: After Life (PG), 119 mins (1998). Japanese film edited, written, and directed by Hirokazu Kore-eda. After death, people have a week to choose only one memory to keep for eternity.
Cambridge Mosque (Mawson Road)
Meet the staff, team Imam Q&A opportunities, light refreshments, etc.
Ditchburn Place will be open for refreshments, including fantastic homemade cakes and soups, as well as our now-famous mulled wine in a festive mug. We will also have a tombola and raffle with some great prizes to be won. All proceeds from the day go towards the Ditchburn Place social club, providing activities and opportunities for our residents. Our toilets will also be open for use in exchange for a small donation to Addenbrookes Charitable Trust!
Salvation Army Centre
As well as hosting the Mill Road History Society, the Salvation Army Centre on Tenison Road/Mill Road will have family fun activities, a cake sale and café.
Mill Road History Society at the Salvation Army Centre
At this year’s Mill Road Winter Fair, the Mill Road History Society is delighted to have a presence at the Salvation Army Centre in Mill Road (enter either from Mill Road or Tenison Road.) Come and take the weight off your feet and enjoy browsing through some of our research material and finding out more about our forthcoming programme.
There’s no subscription to join the Mill Road History Society, just sign up to our free newsletter. With many thanks to the SA Centre for their hospitality.
Our building will be open for refreshments, toilet facilities, an activity area for young children, baby changing facility and prayer ministry for those who want it.
St Barnabas Church
We are opening up our building for soft play and inflatables. We’ll also have free tea and coffee, and space for people to come and sit in the warm. There will also be busking and choirs outside and we’re giving away mince pies, candy canes and Christmas decorations!
Cambridge Storytellers at St Barnabas Centre
Seasonal stories for families. We’ll be in the Old School Lounge at the St Barnabas Centre. Follow the signs – look behind the church, or go through the church. Sessions at 12.30-1.15, 1.30-2.15 and 2.30-3.15. All welcome. Stay for one story, or a full session. See you there!
CHaOS at St Barnabas Centre
CHaOS will run exciting hands-on demonstrations aimed at children and families, designed to get you thinking about science as you explore the coolest things about our world. Demonstrators come from a keen team of undergraduate and postgraduate students at the University of Cambridge who love sharing what we know about the Science, Mathematics, Engineering, Medicine, Veterinary Medicine or Computer Science that we study!
Lifecraft (Bath House)
Lifecraft are hosting an Open House, 10.30am-4pm. There will be craft activities, a compliments booth, mental health information and hot drinks, including non-alcoholic spiced apple juice. All our activities will be free or with a donation of your choice so everyone can join in.
We also have toilets (including an accessible loo), but we are asking people to “Spend a penny, give a penny” to help us cover the costs of providing the facilities.
Yoga at The Bodywise Studio – cancelled
David Parr House
Our Visitor Centre will be open from 9am to 4.15pm. Learn more about the David Parr story, browse our pop-up shop and take a break from the crowds in our warm Visitor Centre. We will have exclusive offers on Christmas cards, tea towels, tote bags, books, candles and our own David Parr House jigsaw for one day only!
The Cambridge Blue
Father Christmas and his reindeer will be back at The Cambridge Blue during the Fair from midday with a free gift for every child. Our toilets, including an easy-access one, will be available for all visitors.
Mill Road Community Centre
Come and see our fantastic new Community Centre! PACT and Romsey Mill will be welcoming you and opening our kitchen to serve refreshments. There will be hot and cold drinks, a community cake stall (bring along cakes to share), festive crafts, lucky dip, and games for the children. We will have plenty of space for you to sit and rest away from the bustle of the Fair, including a quiet room offering a peaceful interlude to the day. You can find us just behind the Old Library building by the bridge (enter through the courtyard).
Crochet Workshop at Mill Road Community Centre
This is a unique opportunity to learn and practise how to crochet! Over this drop-in session, you’ll be able to learn crochet skills and have the opportunity to take something physical home as a memento from Mill Road Winter Fair. In doing so, host Sophie (founder of Yarny Garms) hopes to demonstrate the joy of crafting as a mindful and meditative practice, and as a way to boost creativity, expression and community.
St Philip’s Church
St Philip’s will have tea, coffee and hot chocolate. A number of choirs will be performing, including SING! community choir at 2pm and there will be a Christmas Carols Singalong at 3pm.
Cambridge Community Circus at the Salisbury Club
Cambridge Community Circus will be running circus workshops at the Salisbury Club from 11am to 1pm. Come along and learn ground-based skills such as juggling balls, spinning plates, poi, hula hoop and diabolo! Fun for all the family!
Greenpeace at the Salisbury Club
Cambridge Greenpeace will be running a craft workshop from 1.30pm to 3pm, making origami creatures and turning them into Christmas ornaments! Come and make some beautiful (and environmental) decorations at the Salisbury Club.
Cambridge Central Mosque (Mill Road)
We invite you and your family to Cambridge Central Mosque for guided tours, a science and art exhibit, delicious food, storytelling for children, Q&A with our Imams, call to prayer demonstrations – and so much more!
The EDGE Café
Join The EDGE Café for this year’s Festive Fringe Fair on Saturday 2nd December, bringing together family-friendly activities, live music, craft stalls, food demonstrations, workshops and much more, as part of the Mill Road Winter Fair. The FREE Festive Fringe Fair will showcase artists, creatives, independent businesses, and The EDGE Café with the local community to celebrate the diversity of Mill Road.
Some of the activity you can expect on the day, includes:
- Multiple food demonstrations by The EDGE Café to tackle food waste and teach you cost-effective and delicious winter-inspired meals. The café will also be open for business serving festive treats and cosy warm drinks.
- Hands-on workshops run by local organisations to keep you entertained, including wreath-making and circular fashion repairs.
- A Christmas market with local, independent vendors offering unique products providing an opportunity to pick up a Christmas present or two.
- Live music and entertainment throughout the day with local artists, community groups and student performers taking centre stage on the veranda.
- Family-friendly fun with face painting, arts and crafts activities, gingerbread decorating, pine cone decorating and pop-up performances to keep children entertained.
- …with more still to be confirmed!
Don’t miss out on this exciting, festive-filled community event which promises to be a day filled with fun activities, great food, live entertainment, and opportunities to support the local Mill Road community.