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WIN a free ticket to ride at the Boston May Fair

Boston May Fair is always a special time of year for young, and not so young. But this year it will again be extra special for one lucky youngster - the winner of the coveted golden ticket.

Once again the Showmen's Guild of Great Britain has agreed that one lucky reader will win the golden ticket - a ticket to ride... all the rides at the fair as many times as they want.

Paul Maltby, Secretary of the Derby, Notts, Mid and South Lincs Section of the Showmen's Guild of Great Britain, said: "This will be the third year that a lucky youngster has had a chance to win a golden ticket at Boston May Fair. It is always great fun and always brilliant to see the smile on the winner's face when they receive their golden ticket."

Last year the showmen decided to allow TWO golden ticket winners. First out of the hat was Emi-Mai Forman. But as she was only four-years-old the May Fair showmen agreed another name should be pulled out to give an older person the chance of enjoying the bigger thrill rides that Emi-Mai could not go on. Next out was 12-year-old Ben Walker.

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Last year's Boston May Fair Golden Ticket winners Ben and Emi-Mai with Boston Mayor Cllr Alison Austin and Keith James, chairman of the Derby, Notts, Mid and South Lincolnshire Section of the Showmen's Guild

Emi-Mai, of Mill Lane, Butterwick, and Ben, of Horncastle Road, Boston, received their golden tickets as VIP guests at the annual May Fair proclamation by Boston Mayor on the steps of the Gallopers on Fish Hill in Boston Market Place.

To be in with a chance of winning the golden ticket you just need to send their name, age, address and daytime phone number to Communications, Boston Borough Council, Municipal Buildings, West Street, Boston PE21 8QR, or email andrew.malkin@boston.gov.uk with the same information. Deadline for entries is Friday, April 22.

This year's winner will also be part of the special May Fair proclamation, receiving their ticket from Boston Mayor, Cllr Richard Austin, and a representative from the Showmen's Guild of Great Britain, as tradition dictates, on the steps of the Gallopers at noon on Saturday, April 30.

The fair will open for business in the Market Place in Boston at 11am that day.

The May Fair is an event all the family can enjoy. Young and older enjoy the rides and the other attractions.

Boston's town centre will be completely taken over by a wide variety of fairground attractions, including thrill rides, children's rides, game and food stalls from Saturday, April 30, until Saturday, May 7. It will be open from 11am to 11pm on both Saturdays, from 11am to 10.30pm on weekdays and from 1pm to 9pm on the Sunday.

The civic proclamation ceremony is attended by VIP guests including mayors and mayoresses from neighbouring authorities and representatives of the Showmen's Guild. They will then enjoy themselves on the rides - usually doing battle on the dodgems.

The fair is rated as being in the top five street fairs in the country. Families of showmen have been coming to Boston for generations, occupying the same pitches with their rides and stalls, which are jealously guarded.

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May Fair pictures by Stephen Gurney