I. Rowing and Summer 8
Rowing is the most important student sport in Oxford. The annual Oxford vs Cambridge University boat race organised in London in March has been running for over 150 years and is a major crowd puller. In Oxford, the rivalry is largely between the various Colleges and their divisions. Students prepare long and hard for these events. The Christ Church regetta organised by Christ Chuch boat club is usually from the Wednesday to Saturday of 7th week in Michaelmas Term (late November) and is usually for first time or novice rowers. Torpids is usually organised from the 7th week of Hilary Term (early March) from Wednesday to Saturday. Summer Eights is organised from the 5th week of Trinity Term (May) from Wednesday to Saturday. These races consist of numerous races, divisions and boats but invariably have a crew of 8 and a cox. The idea is to get to be the "head of the river" without being "bumped". These are popular both among student and visitors.
II. St Giles' Fair
The St Giles' Fair is organised annually over two days in the first week of September happens between St Giles' church and Martyr's memorial pulling in large crowds of locals, students and visitors. Attractions include the usual fair joyrides, food stalls, doughnuts, candy floss, games, etc.
St Giles' Fair online
III. May morning
A 500 year old tradition where the choir of Magdalen College sings two hymns - the Hymnus Eucharisticus and "Now Is the Month of Maying" - from the top of Magdalen Tower (east end of High Street) at 6am on May 1st. This is best viewed from Magdalen Bridge and attracts quite a large crowd. It is a rather festive setting with dancing, singing and in most cases student would be pretty drunk from all night parties. Disregarding the danger, most years a handful of students jump from the bridge into the rather shallow, and hence dangerous, river under the bridge.
IV. Oxford Literary festival
The week and a half long Sunday Times Literary festival is organised across over a dozen locations in Oxford in late March/early April and attracts may leading literary figures. Discussions, book readings, classes and events covering topics from fiction to fashion and biography to philosophy are held by over 500 invited speakers.
Oxford Literary Festival online
V. Cowley Road Carnival
Another street fair with plenty of food, drink, music and entertainment organised along Cowley Road, usually the first weekend of July.
Cowley Road Carnival online