Cornwall’s festivals

Festival in Cornwall with children dressed smartly holding hoops. A boat is in the background, and bunting and balloons can be seen in the distance.

Although we may be coming to the end of the official summer season, there’s still plenty going on across Cornwall in September and October. Then, as we head towards the end of the year, the winter festivities kick in during November and December.

Some of the Cornwall’s festivals are completely free to attend, with lots going on that you can either enjoy as a spectator or join in with, as well as soaking up the atmosphere and enjoying the local food and drink on offer. Others have a range of free family friendly activities plus ticketed events you’ll need such as talks and concerts.

From food and drink, to art, literature, walking and music there’s a huge variety to choose from between now and Christmas. If you’re planning ahead for 2014, take a look at the What’s On page on the Visit Cornwall website to see what’s coming up next year.

Here’s a taste of what’s coming up during the next few months

World Bellyboard Championships, St Agnes, 8 September

One of Cornwall’s quirkiest festivals! Throngs of people take to the water on bellyboards every year, some in outstanding fancy dress. Register in advance if you fancy taking part.

Splash Festival, Falmouth, 3 – 22 September

Combining art, literature, walks, kids’ stuff and much more. Ann Widdecombe, Rick Stein and Sir Andrew Motion will all be speaking at the festival – book your tickets now.

St Ives September Festival, 14 – 28 September

A celebration of music and the arts in venues across St Ives.

Roseland Festival, St Mawes & surrounds, 21 September – 5 October

There’s lots going on including concerts in churches across the Roseland, walks, talks, family events, and theatre performances.

Cornwall Food & Drink Festival,Truro, 27 – 29 September

A celebration of the very best of Cornwall’s food and drink. 2013 is the festival’s 10th anniversary, and it’s going to be bigger and better than ever!

Looe Music Festival, 27 – 29 September

With over 60 bands playing during the festival, there’s plenty to choose from, including performances from The Darkness, Reef and Seth Lakeman.

Falmouth Oyster Festival, 10 – 13 October

One of the highlights of the foodie calendar! Falmouth’s Oyster Festival always has a fantastic atmosphere (don’t be put off if you don’t like oysters!).

St Austell Torchlight Carnival,16 November

Right on our doorstep! This one day festival celebrates the start of winter. As darkness falls, the procession begins, with colourful floats, a samba band and wonderful illuminated lanterns.

Fal River Autumn Walking Festival, 18 October – 3 November

This is one of our favourites. Cornwall can be surprisingly warm and sunny in October. Whether you opt for guided or self-guided walks, getting out on foot is one of the best ways to explore the area around the River Fal.

Truro City of Lights, 20 November

Quite simply magical. Watch the procession of huge lanterns made by local school children and students. There’s a different theme each year.

Truro Primestock Show, 4 December

Come and see a range of prize-winning livestock in the heart of the city. Nanny Pat and granddaughter Megan had a brilliant time there last year – take a look at the blog to find out what they got up to.

Montol Festival, Penzance, 16-21 December

Montol is a revival of some of the traditional Cornish midwinter traditions which used to be practiced in the Penzance area. One of the highlights of the festival is the lantern parade through the streets of Penzance, followed by the lighting of a beacon at Lescudjack Hill Fort, one of the most ancient sites in the area.

Padstow Christmas Festival, 5-8 December

Pop over to Padstow and get the festive season off to a great start. Watch top chefs in action, browse the Christmas market, visit Santa’s grotto, and enjoy the entertainment.

Tempted? Don’t forget we also do short breaks, so if you’ve got limited time or simply fancy coming down to Cornwall for a long weekend or a mid-week getaway, we can help you sort out your perfect break.

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