All the fun of the open air fairground will run from April 17-22 inclusive, but the Esplanade will be closed from its junction with Charlotte Street along to the entrance to Morrisons supermarket from Saturday to prepare for the arrival of hundreds of showmen and women from all over Britain who make the annual pilgrimage to be part of Europe’s longest street fair.
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The open-air funfair, organised by the Scottish section of the Showmen’s Guild, will open at 2pm on Wednesday, April 17, and will run until 10pm on Monday, April 22.
It will be opened on Wednesday by Fife Provost Jim Leishman and dignitaries from the Showmen’s Guild, with free tickets given out for local children.
The event sees around 40 adult rides and over 100 children’s rides from the big wheel and walzers to dodgems and merry-go-rounds, as well as food stalls and amusement arcades, and can attract well over 10,000 visitors a day.
Stephen Duffy, team manager of parks, streets and open spaces with Fife Council, explained: “The Links Market is always a busy time of the year, and we are expecting up to 8000 people during peak times.
“The funfair is located on the south-west end of the Esplanade resulting in the road being closed to vehicle access allowing the area to be pedestrianised for the duration of the event.”
The road closures will start at Charlotte Street continuing south west to the entrance of Morrisons supermarket and will be in force from 10pm on Saturday until 4pm on Wednesday, April 24, to allow for the clean up of the area after the fair closes on the Monday night.
Mr Duffy added: “We are working closely with the emergency services and the Showmen’s Guild to ensure everyone has a great time at this year’s event.”
Meanwhile Police Scotland in Kirkcaldy say that public safety during the event is their prime consideration.
Kirkcaldy Community Sergeant Jimmy Adamson said: “Our main priority for the Links Market is to ensure the safety of those attending and we know that the event attracts thousands of visitors each year.
“We continue to work with our partners at the Multi Agency Control Centre at the Town House throughout the event to ensure an appropriate policing plan is in place.
“There will be visible police presence throughout the duration of the event, however Global Security will be responsible for managing the behaviour of people within the Market and they will be supported as needed by Police Scotland.
“I would urge those attending to make sure they keep themselves and their belongings safe and to plan their journeys in advance.
“Officers will be carrying out preventative patrols in Linktown, the surrounding area and the transport hubs to encourage good behaviour.
“We will not tolerate any criminal or antisocial behaviour and will act swiftly to tackle any such incidents should they arise.”