The blog from the heart of Leicester's Clarendon Park

Clarendon Park and Stoneygate Street Fairs

Four dates penned into the diary of any self-respecting LE2 resident are those of the seasonal street festivals held in Clarendon Park and Stoneygate. Magnets for local food producers, faith groups, artists, charities and entertainers, these traditional street markets have been regular Leicester fixtures for years and are getting more popular as an increasing number of people recognise the benefits of supporting local independent businesses.

Clarendon Park Winter Fair 2017

Whether you’re hoping to pick up some locally-produced nibbles, stock up on presents made by Leicestershire-based artisans or just do some people watching and enjoy the carnival atmosphere, these vibrant street fairs are unmissable. Keep reading for an overview of each street festival, the dates of future events and information about who to contact if you’d like to have a stall or performance slot of your own.

Stoneygate Summer Fair

The cluster of luxury independent boutiques along Allandale Road and Francis Street, collectively known as Stoneygate shops, takes on an even more exclusive quality when the streets are pedestrianised for the annual summer street fair. This event didn’t take place last year but it’s expected to make a very welcome comeback in 2018. With a great mix of craft, fashion and food traders, it’s easy to while away several hours in this usually sleepy part of town, browsing the stalls and exploring the adjacent shops.

Handcrafted wooden designs by local artist Robertson Cheney

Christopher James Deli is a regular stallholder at each of the street fairs and Stoneygate’s next summer street market is likely to be no exception. Their mouth-watering range of cheeses, many of which are locally-produced, are highly recommended. For those preferring a more musical indulgence, the fabulous Lizzy Rushby is a regular on the event’s stage with tunes from the Edwardian Music Hall to the 1950s, including the ridiculously catchy “Has anybody here seen Kelly”. A particularly persistent earworm if ever there was one.

Dates for your diary:
Stoneygate Summer Fair 2018: Not happening 🙁
Stoneygate Summer Fair 2019: TBA
Stoneygate Summer Fair 2020: TBA

Clarendon Park Summer Fair

Sometimes referred to as the Queens Road summer fair after the main thoroughfare in Clarendon Park where the event takes place, this street market has arguably the longest history of the four. The event usually coincides with Fathers’ Day and sees crowds of shoppers soaking up the atmosphere and (weather permitting) the sun as they stroll between the stalls lining each side of Leicester’s Queens Road.

Thomas and friends entertain the tots on Queens Road

Artists are particularly well represented among the stallholders, with local illustrators Ian Mitchell and Barry Bulsara regular exhibitors. For the kids, there are fairground rides and for the grown-ups some tempting lunch options including the legendary hog roast served outside Archers Butchers. The action isn’t restricted to Queens Road either, with several Clarendon Park Road shops, including The Tiny Bakery and Labels Designer Dress Agency, getting involved with their own special offers and activities.

Dates for your diary:
Clarendon Park Summer Fair 2018: Sunday 17 June
Clarendon Park Summer Fair 2019: Sunday 16 June (not yet confirmed)
Clarendon Park Summer Fair 2020: Sunday 21 June (not yet confirmed)

Stoneygate Christmas Fair

Last year’s winter festival on Allandale Road and Francis Street took place, as it traditionally does, on the last Sunday in November. It was an extra special treat for food and drink lovers because of the contribution of three newly opened bars in the Stoneygate area. The Real Ale Classroom and Marabel have opened opposite each other on Allandale Road and both joined in the festivities with tastings and special offers. Meanwhile, round the corner on Francis Street, Toast Inn tempted passers-by with tastings from its extensive cocktail menu.

Tasty pastry options at Beth’s Kitchen’s Francis Street stall

One entertaining newcomer to the event’s stallholders was Smashit, an unusual take on an old fashioned coconut shy where participants pay a small fee to smash a collection of old crockery to bits with hand-thrown missiles. It was a great way to take out the frustrations of the working week, or just to keep warm on a chilly East Midlands day. Speaking of which, visitors could also stay cosy from within with a mince pie from local bakery, Beth’s Kitchen, who sold a whole range of baked goods, including delicious gluten-free pasties.

Dates for your diary:
Stoneygate Winter Fair 2018: Sunday 25 November (not yet confirmed)
Stoneygate Winter Fair 2019: TBA
Stoneygate Winter Fair 2020: TBA

Clarendon Park Christmas Fair

The Queens Road winter market is perhaps the most atmospheric of this quartet of local events. It usually takes place on the first Sunday in December and the focus on art and craft products makes it the perfect opportunity to kick-start your Christmas shopping by getting some unique gifts while supporting local independent businesses. Among last year’s new stallholders were a number of artists focusing on wooden gifts, from wooden coasters decorated with pyrography to beautiful hand-carved wooden chopping boards.

Wooden gifts take centre stage in Clarendon Park – stocking fillers: sorted

There’s a stage in the middle of the action with live music which last year included the Amazing Grace Choir encouraging its audience to sing along to some upbeat Christmas tunes. Further along Queens Road, in the more informal buskers spot, King Brasstards brought the sounds of the streets of New Orleans to an appreciative Leicester audience. The festivities continued even as the stalls were being packed up, with DJs from The Promised Land pumping out music late into the night in Bar Dos Hermanos on Queens Road.

Dates for your diary:
Clarendon Park Winter Fair 2018: Sunday 2 December 2018
Clarendon Park Winter Fair 2019: Sunday 1 December 2019 (not yet confirmed)
Clarendon Park Winter Fair 2020: Sunday 6 December 2020 (not yet confirmed)

Get involved

If you’d like to have a stall at one of the Clarendon Park or Stoneygate fairs, you need to be quick off the mark because they’re extremely popular and places get booked up quickly. Similarly, if you’re a local band, solo performer or singing group, there are plenty of slots available on the various stages, but it’s a good idea to plan ahead to make sure you don’t miss out.

The Clarendon Park events are organised by Patrick Kitterick and applications for stalls and performance slots open exactly three months before the date of each fair.

Dates for your diary:
Applications open for 2018 Clarendon Park summer fair: Saturday 17 March 2018
Applications open for 2018 Clarendon Park winter fair: Saturday 1 September 2018

You can contact Patrick by email on patrick.kitterick@btinternet.com. There’s also a Facebook page dedicated to the Clarendon Park Christmas and Summer Fairs where you can see photos and reviews of past events, connect with other stallholders and promote your products, charity or music to the local community.

The Clarendon's performing on the main stage at Clarendon Park Christmas Fair

The Clarendons performing on the main stage at Clarendon Park’s Christmas Fair

The Stoneygate summer and winter fairs are co-ordinated by Carrie Short and her team at Hunters Estate Agents on Allandale Road. Give them a call on 01162727154 or email them on stoneygate@hunters.com. You can also catch up with other stallholders, performers and shoppers on the Stoneygate Shops Facebook page.

2 Responses to “Clarendon Park and Stoneygate Street Fairs”

  1. Linda Marston

    Please could you send me a booking form for your Clarendon Park Christmas Festival in December 2018.
    Betty Bee Children’s virtue learning books are are written by Leicester author Linda Marston who is available along with Leicester author Dick Stonier to attend this event.
    More can be found about Betty Bee at http://www.bettybeebooks.co.uk

    Thanks
    Linda Marston

    Reply
    • Ruth Clowes

      Hi Linda, the contact details of the organisers of each of the fairs are at the bottom of the article in the paragraph headed “Get involved”. Best of luck securing a stall 🙂

      Reply

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