Rain didn’t stop play for the first Blackburn BID Street fair on Saturday (20 May) as hundreds of people enjoyed shopping, street food, rides, entertainment, children’s activities and cultural entertainment on King William Street.
Over 22 traders took part in a pilot event organised by the Blackburn Business Improvement District as part of a scheme to animate open spaces, provide enjoyable experiences and encourage people to rediscover the town centre.
As well as a range of stalls and food traders the event attracted children’s rides, a cinema dome, hawks and owls and a pop-up community bandstand with local musical acts. Saturday was also a trial for a new initiative “Blackburn Walking Tours”. Hosted by the BID’s very own Mr Mason, the tours aim to help visitors discover more of the town, its heritage and the wide range of independent traders.
Harriet Roberts, manager of the Blackburn BID, said, “Although the weather was not on our side, there was a really positive buzz among the stall holders and visitors – many of whom had come specially for the event.
These street fairs are a cost effective way to animate town centre spaces increase footfall, encourage people to visit businesses in the streets surrounding the main shopping areas and give additional opportunities to businesses to promote themselves.
“Local businesses from Blackburn Market on Church Street to Liz ‘n’ Lils at Sudell Cross used the event to reach large numbers of people and used promotional offers to encourage new customers to visit. We are pleased that over 90% of the traders on Saturday have already booked to return to our next event.
“The next Street Fair will be on Saturday 15th July when we will be adding additional activities to celebrate our title as town centre of the year and overall winner in the Great British High Street competition.”
Blackburn Street Fairs are scheduled for Saturday 15th July, Saturday 30th September and a BIG Christmas Street Fair on Saturday 9th December 2017.
Traders can book for these events at the Event Owl website
A programme of Town Centre Walks, Talks and Tours with Mr Mason will be published soon.