The Wisbech Rose Fair celebrations will not go ahead again this year – but the community is being asked to contribute their thoughts and ideas for the festival’s future.

The four days of floral festivities used to attract visitors from across the country, with the community particularly coming together for the town centre parades.  

But there hasn't been an event or parade since covid – the last festival was in 2019.  

Wisbech Standard: The Wisbech Rose Fair parade in 2019, before the coronavirus pandemic.The Wisbech Rose Fair parade in 2019, before the coronavirus pandemic. (Image: Ian Carter)

St Peter and St Paul's Church, the parish church behind Wisbech Rose Fair, announced in November 2021 that it would no longer be running the festival.  

The parade, which is traditionally organised by Wisbech Round Table, was due to go ahead this year for the festival’s 60th anniversary.  

But scaffolding around a building involved in a fire is blocking the procession’s route through the Market Place.

A statement on the Wisbech Rose Fair Facebook page said: “Following an announcement by the church leaders last year, that they were unable to continue delivering the four-day event, a Wisbech Rose Fair Committee was formed.

“Their mission is to reinatate the festival and develop it for the future.  

“Sadly, due to logistics, it just isn’t possible to deliver the annual Rose Fair festival and parade this year 2023 (its 60th anniversary) - at least not as we know it!” 


Wisbech Standard: Wisbech Rose Fair used to consist of four days of floral festivities.Wisbech Rose Fair used to consist of four days of floral festivities. (Image: Georgina Ragg)

The Wisbech Rose Fair Committee is now asking the community to meet with them at the various events taking place in the town between July 1 and 15. 

These will be advertised on the Rose Fair Facebook page.  

The Wisbech Rose Fair statement ends: “Our goal is to consult with the community, to capture ideas and feedback, then to use this information to formulate a refreshed approach to the festival.   

“Together we aim to do more than reinstate this much-loved festival – with community insight, our intention is to evolve the festival and deliver a new and exciting 2024 Rose Fair experience.”   

Wisbech Standard: Crowds at the Wisbech Rose Fair parade in 2019.Crowds at the Wisbech Rose Fair parade in 2019. (Image: Ian Carter)

Rose Fair began in 1963 when local rose growers sold rose buds in the church gardens to raise funds for the restoration of the church, which dates back to Norman times. 

Until 2019 – when Rose Fair was suspended because of the pandemic – it had continued to raise money to maintain the fabric of the church.