RAINY weather has not deterred punters at the 50th anniversary of the Winchester Hat Fair.

This year's festivities were launched at Inn the Park in Abbey Gardens with gin fizzes and cupcakes.

The event was organised by Play to the Crowd, which organises the Hat Fair. Their representatives, Kirstie Mathieson and Becca Moore, were optimistic in spite of the bad weather.

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Kirstie said: "You know what, Hat Fair goers are very hardy. We always put on a show if we can and if we have to we'll find some indoor spaces."

The rain means that the Hat Fair's opening ceremony will be held at the Theatre Royal at 6.15pm on Friday, July.

There will also be shows in the Brooks Centre.

Sarah Davis, representing the Winchester BID explained the reason behind the Hat Fair's moniker: "It started off as a busker's festival and at the end of each show the buskers would pass a hat around.

SEE MORE: Winchester’s Hat Fair celebrations for 50th anniversary

"[The Hat Fair] is about supporting festivals, supporting the community and it's about bringing people together."

Representatives of Winchester City Council were also present in Emalene Hickman, culture and creative development officer, and Sarah Harfield, manager of the council's visitor information centre. 

Sarah said: "You don't know what to expect [at the Hat Fair]. It's about giving people something they haven't experienced before."

Emalene agreed: "One year there was just a caravan that rotated on an axis all day long. You can't get that anywhere else."