THE ANNUAL Portfield Fair was opened by yesterday with a ceremonial procession marking the start of a weekend of festivities.

The chartered fair was opened at Scotchwell carpark by members of Haverfordwest Town Council, dressed in their ceremonial attire, as well as representatives from the South Wales and Northern Ireland section of the Showmen’s Guild of Great Britain.

The procession was also joined by the mayors of other towns across Pembrokeshire.

The mayor of Haverfordwest, Councillor Alan Buckfield thanked all who attended the opening ceremony.

“This is a very important part of the cultural and recreational life of the town so it gives me great pleasure to formally open the fair,” he said.

The Common Crier, David Rye, read out the ancient charter which gives the fair the right to be held.

After ceremonial duties were complete the town council and their guests had a ride on the waltzers free of charge, and enjoyed themselves at the stalls before heading to the Services Club, Quay Street for refreshments.

The fair has a long history stretching back to the ninth century, and was granted a royal charter in 1695.

Since then it has been held in many locations throughout the town throughout the years, including St Thomas Green.