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Rolling out the fun as Leys Fair returns after two years
THOUSANDS of Blackbird Leys families joined in games and sports as a community fair returned after a two-year break.
The Leys Fair was cancelled in 2011 due to a lack of organisers but on Saturday it made a triumphant return to Blackbird Leys Park.
About 3,000 people took part in sports ranging from archery to mountain biking, and there was go-karting, Zorbing and bouncy castles for the youngsters.
Oxford City Council and Blackbird Leys Parish Council donated £10,000 to make the Oxfordshire Play Association event happen. Jakub Zabek, 30, tried face painting to create a cat design on his three-year-old daughter Julia’s face.
He said: “We really enjoyed ourselves. She loved the bouncy castle and Play Bus.
“I am normally working long hours and the only time I have with her is at the weekend, so it was great to have time together with Julia.”
Subanhan Cahill, 31, from Blackbird Leys, visited with her four-year-old son, Richard, and daughter Natasha, three.
She said: “It is great that it is back. It is good for parents to be able to have fun with their kids, and it is just nice seeing everyone together and so happy.”
Cowley pensioner Angela Thomas said: “It is lovely, lovely, lovely. It is great to see all the different nationalities, the children playing and everyone doing all sorts of different activities.
“It shows that Blackbird Leys is such a wonderful place.”
The fair, which dates back decades, was opened by Oxford East MP Andrew Smith.
Organiser Jane Gallagher, from Oxfordshire Play Association, said: “It just feels fantastic to provide a great event for local people.
“We ran an event in Blackbird Leys last year and it went down so well that the local councils asked us to run Leys Fair.”
Val Churchill, city council community development officer, said: “It was an absolutely amazing feel-good day. It is something to celebrate the fact that Blackbird Leys is such a fantastic place.”
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