Festivals

These community festivals and fairs either have a low carbon footprint, revive local traditions or strengthen local culture and arts.

FEBRUARY
St Ives, Monday after February 3
St Ives Feast
A celebration of the founding of St Ives by St Ia. It includes a civic procession to Venton Ia, the well of St Ia, and other associated activities. It is most notable as one of the two surviving examples of Cornish Hurling.

MARCH
Penzance, March 5
St Pirans Day
St Piran was the patron saint of Tin Miners and St Piran's Day started as one of the many tinners' holidays observed by the miners of Cornwall. In Penzance there is the annual performance of the St Piran Furry dance and a procession through the streets by hundreds of children.

SPRING OR EARLY SUMMER
St Michael's Mount, annually for a single day
Music on the Mount
http://www.stmichaelsmount.co.uk
Free entry to the Castle, Gardens and live music and entertainment

MAY
Helston, May 8
Flora Day
http://www.helstonfloraday.org.uk
This celebration is believed to be pre-Christian and at one time during the Victorian era was banned as being "a drunken revelry." The whole town is decorated with local greenery and bluebells from the surrounding countryside. The day starts with the 7.00 am dance (originally for the servants of the gentry) with the Gentlemen wearing shirt and tie and the ladies wearing light summer dresses. This is followed by a boisterous dance cum play called the Hal-an-Tow. Verses of this have reference to Robin Hood, the Spanish Armada and St George and the Dragon. Dances and celebrations follow throughout the day.

Penzance, nearest Sunday to May 1
Mayhorns

JUNE
Penzance, week including June 24
Golowan Festival
http://www.golowan.org
A week of entertainment and celebrations including the election of a new Mock Mayor, fireworks on Mazey eve, community processions on Mazey day on Saturday, and Quay Fair day on the Sunday. Golowan was one of the last mid summer festivals practiced in Cornwall. It was outlawed the festival due to the rising insurance premiums for the town’s business community. Traditionally blazing tar barrels were paraded around the towns streets and the surrounding hills had bonfires set at the top, which were seen all around Mounts Bay and beyond. The midsummer Feast of Saint John (Gol–Jowan) was revived in 1991. It has now become the most colourful community festival in the South West – totally unique, nationally and internationally, but never losing its sense of tradition and place, blending Cornish tradition with contemporary imagery and ritual.

JULY
Mousehole, long weekend in July in even years
Sea Salts and Sail
http://www.seasalts.co.uk
Traditional sailing boats racing in Mounts Bay; live music; delicious food and drink; cookery demonstrations; demonstrations of local crafts; photographic display of Old Cornwall.

St Just, third Saturday in July
Lafrowda Festival
http://www.lafrowda-festival.co.uk
Lafrowda is the ancient name for the church lands where St Just in Penwith stands today. The modern festival first took place in 1996. It usually offers a fortnight of community events plus a festival workshop programme. It all culminates on Lafrowda Day with twelve hours of live music and entertainment, street performance and processions.

Marazion, a Sunday in July
Marazion Carnival
Free fun and entertainment. Live music, dancers, magic, Punch & Judy, demonstrations, games, a tug-of-war competition, a barbeque, cream teas and lots of stalls as well as a noisy and colourful procession.

Penzance, four days at the end of July
Penzance Literary Festival
http://penzance-literary-festival.org.uk
A festival about the written word, the spoken word, the recited word and the sung word too. Talks by authors and people with a deep knowledge of subjects special to West Cornwall. Round table discussions, authors in conversation, and workshops on writing, poetry and drama. Performance and entertainment in the evenings.

AUGUST
Morvah, first Tuesday in August
Morvah Pasty Day
http://www.morvah.com
Day starts in the morning with food, live music (folk), children's activities, a car boot sale, as well as opportunities for stalls within the marquee and … pasties. On into the evening with more music and a bar with a selection of Real Cornish Ales!

Goldsithney, Saturday closest to August 5
Goldsithney Charter Fair
http://www.goldsithneycharterfair.org
Processions, stalls, Cornish Wrestling, live music, street theatre.

Penzance, August Bank Holiday Sunday
Party in the Park
http://www.trereifepark.co.uk
An annual music event which is all about the best local bands playing under cover in marquees within the grounds of Trereife Park, west of Penzance on the A30.

Newlyn, August Bank Holiday Monday
Newlyn Fish Festival
http://www.newlynfishfestival.org.uk
Satisfy your appetite with the best seafood you can get whilst enjoying great cooking demos, live entertainment or bidding at the seafood auction.

Sennen, some August Bank Holiday Mondays
End of the Road Show

SEPTEMBER
Botallack, a Sunday early in September
Botallack Country Fair
Vintage vehicles, traction engines, tin smelting, granite splitting, tin panning, blacksmithing, withy crafts plus spinning and weaving. Food stalls from local producers, duck wrangling and a sheep dog skills demonstrations.

St Ives, 15 day event in mid September
St Ives September Festival
http://www.stivesseptemberfestival.co.uk
One of the longest running and widest ranging festivals of the arts in the UK. It includes a range of arts from Music (including Folk, Jazz, Rock, Classical and World) to Poetry, Film, Talks and Books. It was founded in 1978 as a joint venture by a group of local entrepreneurs and the International Musicians Seminar. Many of the local artists in the town open up their private studios to allow visitors to see exactly how their art is produced. There is free music in many pubs in the town almost every night, as well as well-attended concerts.

DECEMBER
Penzance, December 21
Montol Festival
http://www.montol.co.uk
Montol is a festival of revived local traditions of midwinter. People come in disguise, masks and costume, tatters or mock formal, carrying a lantern, wending their way to the ancient Lescudjack Hillfort, and the lighting of the great beacon to celebrate the coming of the light on the darkest day of the year.

Mousehole, December 23
Tom Bawcocks Eve
The festival is held in celebration and memory of the efforts of Mousehole fisherman Tom Bawcock to lift a famine from the village. During this festival Star Gazey Pie (a mixed fish, egg and potato pie with protruding fish heads) is eaten.