From freebies to societies, how to make the most of Cambridge’s Freshers’ Fair
Going once is never enough
Every year, the Freshers’ Fair is held on Parker’s Piece over two days. It’s a few days into first year; you’ve arrived at your college, attended various mandated activities, perhaps you’ve matriculated. Now the next thing on your timetable is ‘Freshers’ Fair’. Who, what, or where is it?
Luckily, the Fair is a very simple concept: across two days on the field opposite Downing College, the societies and associations of the university hold stalls in an attempt to recruit new freshers. A typical stall will be manned by several students, and will have a description of varying length of its society, as well as a mailing list sign-up form. There are indoor and outdoor stalls.
So, how do you make the most of the fair?
Every year, Domino’s has a large pop-up near the entrance to the Fair. Here, you can get a free slice of pizza after scanning a QR code. What you probably won’t realise is that scanning this code also gives you a £5 voucher for any large pizza. There is no limit to how often you can scan the code, and the vouchers are valid for the month of September. Make sure you do several trips to get multiple fiver pizzas.
Local Restaurant Pop-Ups
In a similar vein, various local restaurants and eateries will set up camp around the field, handing out limited-time discounts and freebies, which can range from tote bags and sweets to mugs and umbrellas.
You might be starting to realise that the Fair is as much about free stuff as it is society sign-ups. Grab several tote bags at the entrance and load them up with bookmarks, UL-branded stationery, laptop stickers, and sunglasses. The treasures are innumerable.
The Fair is likely the first place where you will encounter bell-ringing, gliding, clay pigeon shooting, and other such societies. The stalls for these types are interactive, so you can try your hand at church bell ringing and get to attempt a clay pigeon assassination.
As mentioned, the fair is held over two days. This is in order to accommodate for the large number of colleges and their varying freshers’ schedules. Most people only visit once, but it’s definitely worth going on both days if you’re able to, because you almost surely will miss things in the chaos of your first visit. By your second, you’ll have a rough idea of specific stalls you want to check out, and you can get even more freebies.