Golowan Festival, Penzance

Cornwall does love its festivals, and Penzance holds fast to this tradition of welcoming in midsummer with a host of events such as Mazey Eve, the election of the Mock Mayor of the Quay, Penglaz, Penzances’ own ‘Obby ‘Oss and lots of music, parades and a market place full of stalls throughout the town.

Traditionally, the celebration of midsummer was also known as the Feast of St John which was celebrated in Cornwall with bonfires, flaming tar barrels and burning torches. Not surprisingly, the fire risk was massive and the festivals gradually died out, with Penzance being one of the last towns to lose the tradition.

Luckily for Penzance, the festival was revived in 1991 (minus the flames!) and has steadily grown to be an event that lasts just over a week, where the town is bedecked in flags and greenery and filled with music.

The main event is Mazey Day, lead by the Mayor of Penzance and the Mock Mayor of the Quay (elected on Mazey Eve, followed by fireworks, a band and the towns’ ‘Obby ‘Oss).  Thousands of people line the streets to watch local schools, artists and community groups parade through the town with music and giant sculptures. There’s also a huge market set up on Market Jew Street full of local traders and things to eat and drink.

This year's festival will take place over the week of 17th - 26th June 2022. The full line up of events and workshops includes costume, mask and headdress making workshops, model boat making, banner decorating, traditional Cornish dancing, circus skills, a photography town trail and more.

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