Ottery St Mary's regular events
Ottery St Mary is a town full of endless charm and fascinating regular events. As one of the most historic places in the county, you can really discover a whole different side of Devon, something that is most obvious with the town's regular events. Perhaps the most famous of the events in the calendar is the Tar Barrels, which takes place on Bonfire Night every year and sees huge, flaming barrels being paraded through the town - it brings people from all over the UK and is one of the largest fundraising events in the South West.
From barrels to pixies
It isn't just the Tar Barrels which makes Ottery special - it is the only place left in the West Country that continues the tradition - but also Pixie Day.
Much as it sounds, Pixie Day takes place every year and commemorates the town's pixies being banished! Usually taking place on the day nearest Mid-Summer, this event begins in the early afternoon with a large fair, where hundreds of pixies (made up of local children) capture the church's bell ringers and kidnap them before a reenactment of the pixie's banishment then takes place.
The legend began that Ottery St Mary was once occupied by Pixies. They were forced into exile by the coming of the humans and the building of the church. The last straw was the noise of the church bells which they could not bear. As the bells rung the Pixies would do everything they could to stop…