Cornwall

Black Prince Flower Boat Procession

A county of history, legend and folklore, Cornwall’s festivals and traditions are a major part of its culture. One such festival, the Black Prince Flower Boat Procession, is held each year in Kingsand and Cawsand and celebrates the end of winter and arrival of spring.

A popular May Day festival, the Black Prince Flower Boat Procession is a historical festival revived by the locals of Kingsand and Cawsand in the 1980s. Named after Edward of Woodstock (aka the Black Prince), the first Duke of Cornwall and son of King Edward III, it takes place to draw a close to the cold months of winter and call for a fruitful harvest from land and sea.

Taking place on the same day every year, the festival starts at around 10am and follows the procession of a boat carried by ratings from HMS Raleigh and decorated with flowers. Following flag-draped cottages and flanked by dancers, singers, town criers and more, the event draws crowds from near and far and unites the communities in shared celebration.

A festival for all generations, the Flower Boat Procession sees youngsters as well as adults dress up in traditional costume of red cloaks and sashes and carry flower baskets and garlands. A real flurry of activity, visitors to the festival can expect Maypole and Morris dancing, a young town crier competition, the crowning of the new May Day King and Queen, music and choirs and, of course, lots of local food and drink.

Weaving its way around both Kingsand and Cawsand, the procession concludes at Cawsand beach around 4pm, where the boat is launched into the sea, carrying the threat of bad weather away with it. With merriment continuing into the evening as local pubs and eateries throw open their doors, the event marks a special occasion in the towns’ calendars and makes for a thoroughly memorable experience for all.

Feeling inspired? Take a look at our luxury cottages near Kingsand and Cawsand here.

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