In some years April contains Easter weekend, in other years not. Many events are focussed on it being the Easter weekend and not whether it’s April or not. May brings two bank holidays, both stuffed full of activities. June’s a little quieter, but warmer.
Here are events to look out for in each of the months:
- Camborne celebrates the annual Trevithick Day puts on a procession and display of vintage steam-powered vehicles and model exhibitions. The event celebrates local engineer and inventor Richard Trevithick. The steam parade usually commences at Basset Road, Camborne at about 3pm.
- Newquay hosts the English National Surfing Championships are usually at Watergate Bay, Newquay, for a whole weekend. Starting in the early 1970s, these championships are one of the biggest and part of the annual calendar now.
- Padstow has its very old and world-famous Obby Oss Day on 1 May (unless that’s a Sunday, then it’s held on Monday 2 May instead). A day-long ancient fertility festival where two Obby Osses (red and blue) proceed around to town throughout the day to the sound of drums and accordians. A proper Traditional Cornish Festival. Free to attend.
- Helston Flora Day is a very old Cornish festival. There are street processions and dancing, the same dances/songs from ancient times. Held on 8 May every year unless that is a Sunday – if it is, then Flora Day is on Saturday 7 May (as it will be in 2016). In 2017 it will actually be on Saturday 6 May, then 2018 onwards it’s back to being the 8th of May. Free to attend.
- Fowey Word & Music Festival. The Du Maurier Festival. A week long festival at Fowey, Cornwall, held in the early part of May with literary interviews, presentations, theatre, music and comedy performances, workshops, exhibitions and local walks.
- St Ives Food & Music Festival is held over a weekend in the middle of May each year at Porthminster Beach, St Ives, Cornwall. Local artisan food and drink producers, offering samples; cookery demonstrations from top UK chefs; a surf competition and music throughout the afternoon. Free to attend.
- St Ives Literature Festival is a week-long festival, starting the same weekend as the Food & Music Festival, but running for the remainder of the week. Workshops, book launches and performances. Some parts free to attend.
- St Agnes, Bolster Festival – over the early May Bank Holiday Weekend, the Bolster Festival celebrates one of Cornwall’s famous giants. The main event is the Bolster Pageant, with procession and the giant 28′ high Bolster taken through the streets. A Cornish Festival that’s been going for over 20 years. Free to attend.
- St Agnes, the Driftwood Spas Hotel have an annual Sausage and Ale Festival across the early May Bank Holiday, coinciding with the Bolster Festival. Offering an array of fine ales and sausages, there’s usually live music too. This is a characterful pub that you should take the time out to visit at some point. Free to attend.
- St Ives have their own traditional May Day Celebrations. A Cornish festival including a parade that starts from the Harbour area about lunchtime (1pm ish).
- Lostwithiel has a one-day arts & crafts festival in the middle of May, called LostFest. Craft, food, music, lots of free entertainment. It’s a free day out, with all funds raised going towards the FLEET Charity for Front Line Emergency equipment. There’s usually a free Park & Ride put on from the station. Free to attend.
- Falmouth has the annual 10-day long Fal River Festival at the end of May. Music, drama performances, pilot gig racing and walking tours. There’s a Castle-to-Castle swim across the river and Fal River Market and opening parade. Free to attend.
- Wadebridge hosts the Royal Cornwall Show – this is the Cornwall County Fair. The arena is very large and right on the outskirts of Wadebridge, so easy to access (although there are always traffic holdups due to the sheer volume of cars). The 3-day event at the start of June is a ticket-only show, tickets cost from ~£20/adult ~£40/family with free car parking.
- Redruth celebrates its famous inventor William Murdoch with a 1-day Murdoch Day in the first half of June. All day long entertainment and activities for everybody, including a children’s dance procession, Old Tyme Fair and all-day barbeque. Free to attend.
- Falmouth hosts a double event in the middle of June, combining a fundraising weekend-long Falmouth International Sea Shanty Festival, raising funds for the RNLI since it was founded in 2003 and with live performances by dozens of sea shanty singing groups from all over Cornwall, the UK, Holland and France and the Falmouth Classics Regatta where classic boats from across the world fill Falmouth’s Harbour for a spectacular Parade of Sail and Power taking place on the Saturday morning. Lots of free fun to be had around the town.
- Polperro Music Festival is a week-long festival starting in the middle of June. This free festival includes an arts and crafts fair, a colourful carnival, food stalls, live bands, comedy performances and the lighting of the Solstice Fire. A unique mock Mayor Choosing Ceremony is held, with the winner being wheeled through the town, stopping at each inn on the way to the sea. Free to attend.
- Saltash has its weekend-long Regatta & Waterside Festival, with RNLI demonstrations and gig rowing races in the first half of June. There’s also a vibrant street market with live entertainment on the shore. Free to attend.
- Penzance celebrates midsummer Feast of St John, dating back to the 1800s, with the well-known Golowan Festival is in the second half of June. Music, performing arts and theatre, lively street parades, music and a fireworks display on the prom. Free to attend.
- Looe Food Festival is a weekend-long celebration of local foods and drink, with nearly 50 different food and drink producers, growers and suppliers from across the South West. Lots of food tastings to try, to discover what you like. Free to attend.