Mock and roll

Round & About

mock mayor

Old Woodstock in Oxfordshire is the setting for a centuries old fun-filled tradition of electing a Mock Mayor. Join the fun on Saturday, 21st July, writes Rachel Thompson

The tradition dates back to the 18th century with its origins in making fun of neighbouring New Woodstock with its fancy town hall.

After a break in the early 20th century, the festival was revived with enthusiasm in the 1980s. Last year’s event could not go ahead but the committee is back this year with a new chairman; Damian Thompson (the 2013 Mock Mayor) and enthusiastic new committee members!

After a procession of the outgoing Mayor and his officials in fancy dress, with a town crier at The Black Prince, candidates make speeches before the committee elects its new Mayor for the year, forming a procession across Blenheim Park to the New Woodstock Town Hall for dancing with Morris men and the real Mayor of Woodstock…then the Mock Mayor is ducked in the River Glyme and a good time is had by all!

With traditional games, stalls, tug-of-war, Punch & Judy and a children’s entertainer before live music from Woodstock’s Unsociable Media and Indie Zone and a barbecue later, the event (2.30-5.30pm for the ceremony and fete and 6-10.30pm for the evening) promises fun for all.