THRILL-seekers headed to Leeds Road to enjoy all the fun of the fair – despite the grey Easter weather.
Although the event was due to start on Thursday there were concerns about the state of the ground and fair organisers postponed the opening until yesterday.
The Mayor of Kirklees, Clr Eric Firth, officially opened the event and invited everybody to enjoy 15 minutes of free rides.
Having previously been based at Greenhead Park, Kirklees Council told The Showmen’s Guild that they would no longer be allowed to set up there as they hoped to protect the grassed areas for future events in the summer.
However, a meeting was held last week between both organisations and fair organisers were told they could use Leeds Road playing fields where it was originally held in the 80s and 90s.
Herbert Hirst, who is a member of the Yorkshire Section of the Showmen’s Guild said: “We are so grateful to Kirklees Council for allowing us to make Leeds Road our home over Easter.
“It is the first time in three years we have been on a Kirklees Council park.
“The Showmen’s Guild were very concerned about the ground on Thursday and we didn’t want to cause damage to it by setting up when the ground was wet.
“By waiting a day the fairground isn’t too muddy and everyone can enjoy it.
“We had so many people down here and I think the location has really helped.
“People see it on their way in and out of Huddersfield town centre and have stopped by.
“We are not just grateful for the location but for the fact the council allowed us to keep up our Easter fair tradition.’’
There are around 50 attractions and rides at the fair including Crazy Dance, Wild Frontier, the Fun House and a ghost train.
John Gavan runs Old Time Sweets and has been selling confectionery at the Easter fair for the past 15 years.
“We have probably seen as many people in one morning as we did over the whole fair last year,’’ he said.
“The location of the fair this year is far more practical and hopefully we will get even more people.
Fair visitor Gerard Goddard added: “We have just arrived at the fair and it seems slightly better than last year.
“There is lots more to do and my son has been really entertained on the rides.
“We will definitely come again.
Shanice Brooke, 15 and Courtney Steward – both of Rastrick – came especially to go on the waltzes.
Shanice said: “The waltzes were just as fun as we remembered from last year.
“We come every year and I think it just keeps getting better and better.
Courtney added: “The atmosphere is brilliant with the community coming together to have fun over the Bank Holiday weekend.
“I love coming and this year has been great.”
Varinder Kaur, of Deighton, brought along her two daughters Kiran and Suman.
“It is a great fair and so handy that it is so close to us,’’ she said.
“It’s good entertainment for the kids and a nice way to spend time as a family.
“I have never seen it this big before. This year seems to be much larger and a lot more impressive.”
Robin Martin, of Jackson Bridge, said: “We come here because my brothers and sisters enjoy coming.
“It is a perfect day out for little kids – they get really excited about it.
“There is so much for them to do and they have all already tried out lots of the rides.”
Ten-year-old Brandon Shaw, of Paddock came along to enjoy the day with his dad, Richard.
He described the Wild Frontier ride as “awesome” and said since the last time he came things had definitely got better.
Aideen Beirne and Gareth Hirst bought their two-year-old son Lachlan to the fair.
The Lindley couple said the rides were excellent and very suitable for a toddler.
Aideen didn’t think the fair had changed and it was just how she remembered it.
Sarah-Jane and Gavin Roberts, of Ferndale, heard about the fair through her driving instructor.
“It’s lovely,’’ she said. “We have never been before and its much bigger than we expected.
“We thought it was going to be small – more of a local thing – but its much bigger than that.
“There’s loads to do for the little ones. We went on the big slide. I was a little scared but Charlie, my son loved it.
“It isn’t just about the big scary rides. There is lots of stuff to do and there is large selection of food.”
The fair, which is open from noon to 8pm, will be on the fields until Tuesday.