Hat Fair on the walls of Winchester Discovery Centre

Hat Fair is working in partnership with Winchester City Council and the city's new Discovery Centre to create the Hat Fair Living Archive; a permanent collection reflecting the history of the 34 year old festival. To launch the first year of the archive, the Big Fat Hairy Hat Fair Exhibition will burst into life in City Space at the Discovery Centre from the 28th June to 20th July 2008.

The archive co-ordinators are inviting the children of the Winchester District to participate in the exhibition by submitting their paintings or drawings of the Hat Fair as part of a painting competition. Competition entries can be submitted through local schools, and entry forms can also be picked up from Winchester Discovery Centre's City Space, Children's Library, and café from the beginning of half term. Entrants can also request a form from Faye Pain, Winchester City Council's Cultural Services Administrator who can be reached on 01962 848 303 or fpain@winchester.gov.uk.

We're encouraging children to paint the most exciting, unusual, interesting or funny thing they've ever seen at the Hat Fair - using as much colour as possible. Children may only submit one A3 or A4 painting or drawing and may use a range of textiles or materials, as well as paints.

The competition will be judged in three categories by a panel which includes representatives from Hat Fair, Winchester City Council and Hampshire County Council, and also the new Mayor of Winchester, Cllr Michael Read. The prize for the overall winner is a family ticket to a performance at the Theatre Royal Winchester, and the winners of each category will receive a family ticket to Intech Science Centre and Planetarium. There will also be smaller prizes for runners up. The categories are:

  • 4 -7 years
  • 8-11 years
  • 12-16 years

Winners, runners up and an overall selection of entries will be displayed at the exhibition. Entries will also be exhibited at the Theatre Royal Winchester throughout the summer.

The winners of the competition will be announced prior to the exhibition and there will be a prize giving ceremony at the Discovery Centre, with the Mayor and judges, on Saturday 28th June 2008.

Cllr Patricia Stallard, Winchester City Council's Portfolio Holder for Culture, Heritage and Sport, commented:

"The Hat Fair has been bringing colour to the streets of Winchester for more than three decades, but it has also been the inspiration for a host of objects and artefacts which I am delighted to see being brought together at last. We are grateful to the volunteers who have helped to make the living archive project take shape, and I look forward very much to seeing some brand new works by local young people."

All entries, along with completed forms, should be sent to: Faye Pain, Cultural Services, Winchester City Council, City Offices, Colebrook Street, Winchester, Hampshire, SO23 9LJ. The deadline for all entries is June 13th.