THOUSANDS of people descended on Abingdon for Europe’s longest street fair.

The annual Michaelmas Fair attracted hordes of fun lovers today – with the same expected between noon and 11pm tomorrow.

At one-mile long, the organisers claim the two-day event stretches further than any other on the continent. It features rides ranging from waltzers to a bungee jump. The High Street, Market Place and Ock Street are closed to traffic while the fair, which dates from the 14th century, takes place.

Festivities began on Sunday when more than 150 people packed the Market Place for an open air service conducted by the Rev Richard Bittleston, of the Trinity Church, and featuring music from the Abingdon Town Band.

Town mayor Patricia Hobby marked the occasion by taking the first ride on the carousel. She said: “The fair is absolutely wonderful. I’ve been going since I was younger and it is what makes the town unique.

“It’s part of our history and although it does inconvenience some people it’s worth it.”