THIS weekend sees the return of the UK's longest-running festival of outdoor arts for its 50th anniversary.

Hat Fair will be in Winchester city centre from July 5-7. 

Drawing at least 50,000 people each year, Hat Fair is preparing for a grand opening carnival that will include a parade of school children and community groups dressed in costumes echoing the theme, Look Back, Look Forwards, Look Up.

This festival, established in 1974, had humble beginnings as a hatting event and carries forward its tradition with performers collecting donations after their performances in hats.

Several city centre roads will be closed throughout the festival. 

READ MORE: Romsey Beggars Fair: More than 80 performers to celebrate 30th year

The Square, from Great Minster Street to the point level with Boots, will be closed on Friday, July 5 from 8am to 7pm and Saturday, July 6 from 8am to 10am. 

High Street, from Castle Avenue to the junction with Jewry Street, will be closed on Friday, July 5 from 1pm to 1.15pm. 

Market Street, from High Street to the junction with The Square, will be closed on Friday, July 5 from 1.20pm to 1.30pm. 

High Street / The Broadway, from Busket Lane to Colebrook Street, and Colebrook Street between its junction with Market Lane and its junction with High Street / The Broadway, will be closed from 6am on July 6 to 10pm to July 7. 

Busket Lane, in its entirety, will be closed from 10am on July 6 to 10pm to July 7.