The Carnival began in 1894 to raise funds for the Cottage Hospital. It made a profit of £30 with £25 being donated to the hospital and £5 set aside for the Carnival Fund. By the hospital’s Golden Jubilee, Fairford Carnival was acknowledged as the “greatest show in the west”. In 1937, the procession was so long that the head met the tail after going round the town. Some 32 bands took part in a celebrated contest.
It was a huge event that involved the whole community. The Carnival came to an end in 1956. The community spirit was revived in the mid 1990’s when the Fairford Festival was started to raise money for charitable causes within the town.