The original luxury Christmas fair in the Cotswolds
By David Wood
Where: Cotswold Airport, Cirencester GL7 6BA
When: Tuesday, November 13, to Friday, November 16, 10am-4pm daily
Cotswold residents in search of the perfect gift for a loved one this festive season will have plenty of inspiration at hand thanks to the Mary Howard Christmas Fair.
The longest-running and original luxury Christmas fair in the Cotswolds returns to Cotswold Airport between November 13-16 with over 150 unique specialist retailers under its wing.
The 39th anniversary of this celebrated annual festive fair, the Mary Howard Christmas Fair sets itself apart thanks to the incredible calibre of retailers exhibiting their goods at the event; each shortlisted from thousands of applications and personally selected to attend, for a truly exclusive feel.
This year is set to be the fair's largest ever with 159 retailers on hand and over 8,000 visitors expected through the doors, with beautiful gift options ranging from artisan foodie treats and pampering beauty products, to beautiful children's gifts, luxury clothing and homeware, and plenty of unique ideas for the home.
Taking place under the shelter of an enormous heated weatherproof marquee, offering a cosy respite should the winter weather strike, the fair will run over the course of four days from 10am to 4pm daily; including an exclusive evening event on Wednesday 14th November for the first time this year.
With an on-site restaurant serving up a host of delicious dishes throughout the day, a pre-bookable two course waiter service lunch option and a coffee bar serving hot drinks and delicious fresh patisseries, there's plenty on hand to keep you well fed throughout your visit.
Originally started in 1979 by Mary Howard herself as the original luxury Christmas fair in the area, the fair began life with a small selection of carefully curated stalls in Mary and husband Patrick Howard's own home, opening up to friends and family as a unique pre-Christmas get together in aid of the NSPCC.
Now in its 39th year, the Fair has since raised over £1.25 million for more than 50 charities and has welcomed over 300,000 visitors through the doors. This year, funds will be raised for Allegra's Ambition and Youth Action Wiltshire charities.
Tragically, Mary lost her life just a few days before the fair in a fatal car accident in 2008, with this year marking the 10th anniversary of her death.
Very much still a family business, Mary's son Tim and wife Suki have now taken the helm, leading this well-established annual event into its largest year to date. Special tributes will be paid to Mary at this year's event, with a book of memories for visitors to sign.
Pre-booking is strongly advised. Tickets are priced £10 per person pre-booked / £12 on the door (if available) on 14th - 16th November. 13th November preview day tickets available at £14 pre-booked/ £17 on the door.
Tickets are available on 01285 655595 or at www.maryhowardfairs.com
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