First acts announced for Corby Pole Fair

First acts announced for Corby Pole Fair

The Corby Pole Fair is happenign soon, and behind the scenes the committee have been busy planning a fun programme of activities for the whole town to celebrate the granting of Corby’s Royal Charter in 1585. Taking place on Friday 3rd June, over the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee weekend, there will be plenty to keep people of all ages entertained.

Thanks to National Lottery players, through a generous grant from the National Lottery Heritage Fund, the Pole Fair will showcase the rich history of both Corby village and the fair itself. The event will include all of the traditional elements, including the stocks, stang, ox roast, greasy pole and dawn charter readings. Arches at each of the main entrances to the village will be decorated by local groups, sponsored by local businesses including ACE Furniture. Activities will also draw further upon the pre-1900s history of Corby, with storytellers sharing tales of fugitive slaves, local nobles and rebellions, alongside a large Viking encampment.

On stage on the Charter Field, which has been sponsored by Taste Original, you’ll be able to catch performances by local acts including Corby Silver Band and the Deep Roots Tall Trees choir, alongside a unique modern take on a traditional ceilidh bringing all ages together for a proper knees up. The Charter Field will also host a big community breakfast to start the day and over lunchtime will be the venue for a teddy bears’ picnic with entertainment for young children to enjoy, with free picnic lunches provided by The Good Bean.

A walking parade, organised by Corby Carnival, will pass through the village mid-morning, led by four giant puppets representing important historical figures from Corby’s past including Queen Elizabeth I, the Viking Kori from whom the town gets its name and John Anderson, a fugitive slave who was welcomed to the village at the time of the 1862 Pole Fair. These will be joined by local community groups and marching bands.

Wandering around the Old Village will be a range of performers, including an Elizabethan minstrel, jester, fire eater and a group of Tudor Queens, alongside pop-up performances by local musicians and dancers, including the Corby Conspiracy Morris dance side. There will also be a market to browse, Stevens Funfair, as well as activities from St John’s Church and the Corby and District Model Railway Society.

Over in West Glebe Park, there’ll be displays from Steamhorse Jousting and an area for skateboarding with displays provided by Adrenaline Alley. West Glebe will also be home to the Streetfood Fridays area, organised by Flyby Bars, which will include a wide range of street food vendors and entertainment.

As part of a yearlong programme of heritage activity funded by the Heritage Fund, the coming months will see schoolchildren learn about the history of the fair, thanks to an education pack created by HD Media CIC, heritage activities in Corby Library and groups of young people finding out more about significant people in the town’s history. Folk musicians, Simon Mayor and Hilary James are currently working with local musicians to write a new song about the Pole Fair, which will be performed on the day. After the fair, permanent boards will remain across the old village showing what the village used to be like, alongside work to ensure the 2022 fair is fully archived and sustained for future generations.

There’s still lots of space for individuals or groups to get involved, including entering the fancy dress competition, taking part in the parade, helping to create a floral arch from knitting or crochet as well as other opportunities to perform, volunteer or contribute to our crowdfunder.

Further details of the day will be announced soon – to be the first to find out, follow the Corby Pole Fair Facebook page at or visit

Alongside the National Lottery Heritage Fund, Corby Pole Fair has been supported by the National Lottery Community Fund, Arts Council England, North Northamptonshire Council and Corby Town Council with event management provided by ArtReach.

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Last updated 15th May 2022

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