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The Comedy of Errors

Goosey In The Market Square

30 September 20

What is going on? The Goose Fair goose statue is the Market Square right now...

Goosey the Goose Fair goose is in the Market Square for the next five days. The eight-foot figure is the emblem of Nottingham’s famous annual event, which had to be cancelled last month because of Covid-related social-distancing restrictions.

The arrival of the statue usually announces that Nottingham’s longest-running and most popular event is under way by taking pride of place on Goose Fair Roundabout in Mansfield Road, close to the Goose Fair site on The Forest Recreation Ground.

This year would have been the 729th Goose Fair and is only the ninth time in history it has been called off, including in 1646 due to the Bubonic Plague and during the First and Second World Wars. However, Nottingham City Council didn’t want 2020 to pass without at least a nod to what Nottingham people would normally be looking forward to at this time of year. In the early hours of this morning (Wednesday) the goose travelled into the city centre under the cover of darkness – moving from her regular home at the council’s Woolsthorpe depot to a new temporary spot in Old Market Square.

Goosey will sit proudly atop a specially-made plinth until Sunday and she will be wearing a specially-made face mask, reminding people that it’s Covid that put a stop to Goose Fair and the reason for her unusual location this year – and for everyone to continue to wear masks so the fair can resume in 2021.

Members of the public are invited – adhering to social distancing – to visit Old Market Square to see her and pose for a selfie. These can then be uploaded on to social media with the hashtags #Honk and #IMetGoosey.

On Thursday at noon, the Lord Mayor of Nottingham, Councillor Rosemary Healy, will be joined by Town Crier, Tom Huggon, and members of the Showmen’s Guild for the traditional ringing of the Goose Fair bell. This would normally take place on the fairground site at the Forest Recreation Ground. Councillor Healy will express disappointment that the event could not go ahead this year, but acknowledge its importance to Nottingham and say how much the city looks forward to Goose Fair’s return.

Councillor Healy said: “It was such a hard decision to cancel Goose Fair this year. We explored every option to go ahead, but with more than 400,000 visitors over five days, it was simply not possible with current Covid restrictions in place. People’s safety is the most important thing and there was no way we could proceed. However, if didn’t seem right not to mark the event in some way. Moving Goosey to Old Market Square from her normal spot on the Mansfield Road roundabout is a small thing, but hopefully lots of people will enjoy seeing her up close and posing for a picture. We’d love visitors to share their pictures and video with us on social media, as we all look forward to the event hopefully returning bigger and better in 2021.”


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