Stratford Mop Fair 2021: Lighting up the dark October nights

Press Release

Published on 27 September 2021
Archived on 27 October 2021

The annual Mop Fair returns on Monday 11 and Tuesday 12 October, bringing one of the biggest and brightest street fairs in the country to the heart of Stratford-upon-Avon.

This Mop has a tradition of up-to-date and exciting attractions, as well as traditional family favourites such as the 127-year-old Golden Carousel, which will be positioned again in Rother Street.

Many of the attractions will be located on Bridge Street, where Space will be a new ride for 2021. Swinging high towards the town's historic rooftops, the attraction is definitely one for the thrill seekers!

The event begins at 3pm on Monday 11 October.  Then the Mop is officially opened on Tuesday at 11am by the Chairman of Stratford-on-Avon District Council, Cllr Edward Fitter.

There will be the traditional Pig Roast, provided by local Scouts at the end of Waterside / bottom of Bridge Street, on Tuesday along with the charity auction of the first slice of the roast.

One of the biggest changes to the rides and attractions in recent years has been the integration of eye-catching LED displays, which really come into their own as the nights draw in at this time of year. Miraculously, these super bright lights actually consume far less power than the old style filament bulbs they replace.

The Mop Fair's renowned atmosphere, with the streets of the town buzzing until its 11pm closure each night, is part of what makes Stratford-upon-Avon unique.

But why is it called the Mop?

The event has an historic tradition. The original Charter for the fair was granted by Edward VI on 28 June 1544. The event has its origins in the hiring of agricultural and domestic labour, when potential labourers would attend with a mop to signal their skills.

In the 1950s, during the prominence of railway travel, special trains were laid on to ferry people from surrounding towns and villages to and from the fair.

The use of public transport is still encouraged today, however parking is available around town for those who prefer to arrive by car.

Stratford also has an associated 'Runaway Mop' which takes place two weeks later on Friday 22 and Saturday 23 October. This tradition is derived from the need for employers to reconsider and re-hire any staff before committing to a full year's work. Today it exists as a pleasure fair with a smaller selection of attractions clustered around Rother Street.

The District Council and Bob Wilson's Fun Fairs are very grateful for local people and businesses assistance and co-operation in making the operation of the Mop as trouble free as possible. Here's to a safe and enjoyable fair for everyone!    

More information about the Mop Fair will be provided in the run up to the event at

Stratford-upon-Avon road closures during the Mops

To accommodate the Mop the following streets in Stratford-upon-Avon will be closed from 5am on Monday 11 October until 7.30am on Wednesday 13 October:

  • Greenhill Street
  • Rother Street (from Ely Street)
  • Wood Street
  • Union Street
  • Bridge Street
  • Windsor Street (from Mansell Street)
  • Meer Street
  • Henley Street
  • High Street

The following streets will be closed from 5am on Friday 22 October until 6am on Sunday 24 October to make way for the Runaway Mop:

  • Greenhill Street
  • Rother Street (from Ely Street)
  • Wood Street
  • Windsor Street (from Mansell Street)
  • Meer Street

The District Council appreciates these closures of town centre streets can cause problems with access for vehicles and parking during this time, but the road closures will be strictly enforced.

For further information about parking in the town please visit:

Contact details

Stratford-on-Avon District Council
Elizabeth House, Church Street,
Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire,
CV37 6HX
Tel: 01789 267575

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Last updated on 27/09/2021