On the first Saturday in June, Midsummer Common becomes host to one of Cambridge's most popular community events. Growing in ambition since its inception in the 1970s, Strawberry Fair transforms the Common with colour and pizzazz into a one-day feast of free entertainment aimed chiefly at families but attracting a wide mix of party goers. Several live music stages and marquees, circus tents, ethnic and eclectic trade stands, exotic food outlets, beer tents and charity stalls combine to offer an alternative day out for several thousand visitors.
Over the preceeding week the organising committee wrestle with the logistical challenge of creating a temporary town on the Common with shops, streets and sanitation, culminating in a long and noisy fair day. The subsequent clean-up effort restores the Common to a trampled but welcome serenity.
At the end of June, the Common becomes home to Cambridge's longest running event. Midsummer Fair dates back over 800 years. It started as a place of revelry. Like other fairs in the country, it then became a centre for trade. In the 18th century it was commonly known as the Pot Fair due to the large quantities of china and earthenware which were on sale. Gradually entertainments took over from trading to give us what we see today. The mayor and other members of the Council still continue the tradition of parading and proclaiming the Fair open and scattering pennies to the crowd. It is then time for the citizens of Cambridge to enjoy themselves at the various stalls and on the scary rides.