The organisers of the Thomas Hardy Victorian Fair, which ran so successfully in 2019, have told KeeP 106 they are delighted to announce that the event will take place on 6th June this year but in a different format in view of Covid rules.
A cautious approach will be taken this year. Although the roadmap to recovery is on target and Covid cases are going down, it was felt more appropriate to have a scaled-down event aimed at local people, rather than encourage mass visitors to the town.
As such, the focus of this year’s event will be a special online production celebrating Thomas Hardy’s love for his home town. Many of Dorchester’s heritage organisations are partnering to demonstrate what life was like in Victorian/Edwardian Dorchester. The presentation will be themed “Thomas Hardy’s Casterbridge – Dorchester Through Time” and become a lasting legacy on the Thomas Hardy Victorian Fair website.
The author has a huge world-wide following and the composition will encourage enthusiasts to visit the county town when safe to do so once more. The pandemic has provided the opportunity for local heritage organisations to find time to work together to raise awareness of Thomas Hardy and Dorchester.
Gareth Jones, Chair of the THVF2021 Committee, said: “We have a great team of people who are really enthusiastic about bringing this 2021 event together, building on the interest generated in 2019 and creating the foundations for an exciting re-launch of the original street fair as restrictions ease, hopefully next year!”
There will be some live events happening on the day, including a Victorian food market and a live performance by Tatterdemalion in Borough Gardens. Places for these free events will be ticketed and numbers restricted.
Local residents can also take part in guided tours around Dorchester and there will be Victorian craft demonstrations at Shire Hall Historic Courthouse museum.
The online presentation will go live on the website thomashardyvictorianfair.co.uk at 11am on 6th June. Keep up to date on Facebook @TheThomasHardyVictorianFair.