Retford Charter Day 2024

Retford Charter Day is an annual traditional festival that began in 1993. Charter Day is a day to mark the awarding of Retford’s charter by King Henry III in 1246 which allowed Retford the right to hold it’s own market which is has done till now.

Retford Charter Day allows local residents to come together to celebrate the town they live in by taking part in games, activities, shows, live music and other festivities. There is usually fair rides and food stands as well as some market stands located throughout the town during the day but most of the action takes place in the town centre, highstreet and kings park.

One of the main attractions of Retford Charter Day is the annual duck race in which hundreds of rubber ducks are dropped into the River Idle in King’s Park at the north end and the ducks race to the next bridge in the centre of King’s Park. People can buy raffle tickets that are assigned to a duck and whoever’s duck win gets a prize.

Local groups usually hold performances and shows as well as musical band marches throughout the the day.

When is Retford Charter Day?

Retford Charter Day is held on the first Bank Holiday in May every year and really marks the start of Summer for the town as the weather is usually very nice. The yearly event attracts around 30,000 visitors to the town which is a major boost to the towns economy.

Retford Charter Day 2023 didn’t go ahead due to a lack of volunteers but preparations are in place for Retford Charter Day 2024.

Retford Charter Day 2024 will be held on May 6th 2024

The Chair of Retford Charter Trustees makes a commitment to run Retford Charter Day 2024 and has already had the first formal meeting to organise the event. As per, The first meeting for Retford Charter Day on 6th May 2024 was guided by former Chairman Richard Strickson.

Two major charities in the town, Retford Lions Club and Retford Rotary Club, were well represented and Councillor Dan Henderson (Chair of Trustees) said: “We’re turning a new leaf here and we all need to support this important day for the community.”

If you would like to be involved in Retford Charter Day 2024 – please email for details.