The pandemic may have put a halt to The Rotary Club of Okehampton’s annual May Fair in Simmons Park but it went ahead three months later and what a great success it was on Sunday.

Up to two days before the event it was touch and go as to whether the Rotary club would have to cancel it. The number of covid infection cases in Okehampton had risen over the previous two weeks but then began to decline over the last few days.

’We felt with adequate precautions - sanitiser points and frequent cleaning of tables between users etc and that the activities were all outdoors, that the fair could be allowed to take place,’ said club president Paul Vachon.

’ The forecast of fine sunny weather helped the decision and, indeed, the hot summer sun turned up bringing with it hundreds of visitors throughout the day.’

The fair was officially opened by Councillor Bob Tolley, mayor of Okehampton and the main attraction, the duck races, each sponsored by local companies; Cladco, Godfrey Short & Squire, Mike Harding Lighting along with the Rotary club itself and Adventure Okehampton, all sold out. Four races were run during the afternoon, marshalled by the cadets of 2443 Okehampton Squadron.

’I can report that no ducks were harmed on their speedy descent downriver - although two did make a bid for freedom - they were quickly persuaded to return to their flock in readiness for next year’s fair,’ said Paul.

Also popular was the Rotary hot dog and burger tent along with the refreshments tent organised by the ladies of the Inner Wheel.

The fair included live music played by Uke-*-play, Okehampton Wellbeing Choir and Electroleles, dancing by the Okehampton Community Dance Project and games organised by OCRA in the centre ring. Music and announcements were provided by Richards Time Machine.

’I think this was probably one of the most successful fairs that we had. The May Fair was one of the biggest fundraisers for Rotary Okehampton and this Summer Fair has ensured the club has sufficient funds to enable continued support of local community needs as well as international projects,’ added Paul.