Mevagissey Feast Week is one of Cornwall’s most popular local festivals, and its orgins go back hundreds of years. The celebrations were originally held in December each year. As this time of year is also a busy fishing period, in 1754 the village decided to adopt St Peter as its patron saint and celebrate the feast of St Peter on 29th June instead.
The festivities were closely tied to the church, and each denomination would have its own ‘Feast Day’ with children’s sports, a feast tea and a procession with a band and hymn singing. This was an occasion that everyone looked forward to and people would dress up in their ‘Sunday best’ for the celebrations.
Over the years, the feast week gradually declined. In the 1960s the Mevagissey Feast Week Committee was set up and the festival was brought back to life. Since then, it’s evolved into the week-long celebration it is today, with a variety of activities which attract both locals and visitors, including crabbing competitions on the quay, a fish festival, choirs, live music and flora dancing. To round it all off at the end of the week there’s a funfair, a fete, a carnival, and a spectacular firework display in the evening.
I took the grandchildren on the Saturday as Wilf and Megs are at school now and it was a glorious day. Ours never miss an opportunity for crabbing, so it was a hop skip and jump down to the outer harbour for a root around the pools at low tide and a visit to the aquarium where you can see the fish that swim off our coastline – they look really healthy and some of them are huge!
I gave the children £2 each to spend at the fete. Wilfred was brilliant at the hoopla and won two prizes, then had a go on the dodgems. Megs and Sam chose the tamer roundabout ride and the bouncy slide. The afternoon ended with a spellbound trio watching Punch and Judy. I just love it and don’t care if it’s non-PC. It certainly gets my vote over games consoles any day…
Find out more
Most of the activities that take place during Mevagissey Feast Week are free to attend. You can find out more about the festival and download a programme of events from the website.
Many of Cornwall’s towns and villages have feasts and festivals which go on throughout the year so check them out before your visit and go if you can!
Have you been to Mevagissey Feast Week or any other local festivals around Cornwall? We’d love to hear about your experiences and what you’d recommend.