The first Richmond May Ball was held in 1992, making use of a rather large canvas marquee that was used for the Craft stalls for the Richmond May Fair the next day. That first year we raised the princely sum of £2000 for the Star and Garter Home.
The May Fair Ball, as it was then known, was born.
This occasional event has since become an important annual charity fund raiser in the Richmond calendar and the marquee has grown in both in size and elegance. Over the years the Ball has raised over £1million for more than 15 local charities, including Beating Bowel Cancer, SPEAR, Home-Start, Richmond Carers and the Holly Lodge Centre.
Over 7,000 generous people have attended the Richmond May Ball over the years.
The Richmond May Ball is one of the significant events held over the May Fair Weekend. The May Fair itself was first held in 1970. From a few stalls around the Parish Church of St Mary Magdalene, the May Fair has grown to be Richmond Borough’s major charity event. As well as hundreds of charity stalls filling the Green, the thriving Craft Fair is held in the main marquee and there is entertainment all day on the stage on the Green and in and around the Church. More recently the May Fair marquee has also become the venue for a Sunday event, Arts Richmond’s annual Book Picnic.