A Dorset village fair is expected to attract more than 8,000 visitors.

The Milton Abbas Street Fair is celebrating its 50th anniversary on Saturday, July 29 from 11am to 5pm, taking place across The Street and Lakefield.

Carl Tanner, of the fair organisation committee, said the 2023 street fair is extra special as it marks the 50th anniversary of the biennial fair and is its first re-appearance since Covid.

“We’re trying to go to town on the event to make it a super special day," he said.

More than 100 artisan stalls are set to line the streets, offering anything that would have been around in the day from leather goods to craft fashion.

There will also be food stalls offering plenty of choice, including hog roasts as well as vegan dishes.

Entertainment is set to come in many forms including Morris dancing and live music from acts including Black Sheep and Longdog.

Mr Tanner explained that: “Preparations are underway to transform the village back to the 18th century.”

In keeping with the 18th century theme, Mr Tanner said: “Cars will be kept off the street and villagers and visitors alike are encouraged to dress in period costumes.”

Funds raised by the fair will go to charities such as Mosaic, which provides support for children and young people between the age of 4-18, who have experienced the death of a loved one and are finding it difficult to understand and express the overwhelming feeling grief can bring.

Mr Tanner suggested that ‘costs have significantly increased due to the cost-of-living crisis,’ and expressed his thanks towards sponsors, Pitmans and Transform Dorset Ltd which have helped make the event possible.

Tickets are £7 for adults and £3 for children aged 11-15 and can be purchased on the day.

Visitors are also encouraged to bring cash as there is limited mobile service for electronic card payments at present.

For those wishing to dress in 18th century costume, here is the Milton Abbas street fair style guide. 

For ladies:

Long skirt and blouse

Long skirt and blouse

Shawl – use a tablecloth/scarf/lace curtain.

Apron – a lace edged table/tray cloth

Mob Cap – circle of old sheet 24” diameter elasticated around about 1” to 2” from the edge and trimmed with lace.

Straw hat – a sun hat fastened over the crown with a scarf.

Footwear – flat shoes with buckles/laces, laced short boots.

Accessories – lace, brooches, pockets, basket

For men:

A smock – a plain night shirt will do or a collarless plain white shirt open at the neck with rolled up sleeves.

Scarf knotted at the neck.


Trousers – cord or tweed, tied at the knee with twine or trousers tucked into socks.

Flat cap felt or straw hat, bowler, or boater.

Footwear – walking boots, buckled shoes or wellies.

Accessories – pipe, hayfork, stick, large, buckled belt.