North Cornwall begins the summer season earlier than most counties, due to its mild and sunny climate. The well known ‘Obby ‘Oss celebrations in Padstow and the Furry Dance in Helston, both have their roots in mediaeval history.
Royal Cornwall Show
The splendid Royal Cornwall Show takes place around June 10th every year at the county showground in Wadebridge. It offers a good mix of local cuisine, flower arranging, livestock exhibits, farm equipment, demonstrations and other entertaining events. It is packed with stands selling all types of farm and agriculture-related items. The tea tent is particularly popular as it serves generous portions of homemade cakes, pasties, pies and clotted cream treats.
This three-day show always has something unusual to talk about and for 2011 it is camel polo in the main arena. Other popular demonstrations are the motorcycle display teams, an inter-hunt rally, livestock judging and show jumping. Those who love local music will appreciate the Cornish music provided by The Wurzells, no doubt singing their big “I am a Cider Drinker!”
Midsummer is celebrated by many Old Cornwall Societies with bonfires up and down the county on June 24th, although the longest day is actually June 21st . The bonfires are fed with bunches of good herbs bound with ribbons and bunches of noxious or bitter weeds. It is said that once upon a time, on the dark Cornish moors, animals and even humans were sacrificed to the gods in this pagan festival. St Ives, St Agnes, Redruth, St Columb and St Just are just some of the places to head for on Midsummer’s Day to join in traditional street festivities.
Porthleven Lifeboat Day
A fun and entertaining family day out in aid of a good cause can always be found at Porthleven. The heroic Penlee lifeboat crew brings the Severn Lifeboat into port for visitors to check out the modern-day equipment and facilities. The RNLI Rigid Inflatable boats (RIBs) also demonstrate their suitability for inshore rescue with their high performance engines. Live exercises offshore include a visit from the RNAS Search and Rescue helicopter crew doing a mock rescue in partnership with the lifeboat.
Cornish County Fair
On August Bank Holiday, Cornwall’s traditional crafts and rural skills are celebrated at Stithians Showground near Truro. If you want to see dog agility competitions, clay pigeon shooting, a donkey derby, heavy horse displays, falconry, terrier and ferret demonstrations, rare breeds, fly fishing and tug-o-war, this is the place to see it all. Trade stands and marquees filled with local foods ensure everyone goes home happy.
Cornwall has too many events to single out individually but wherever you may be staying in Cornwall there will be some great summer activities. Ox roasts, steam engine rallies, rip curl surfing contests, classic cars, regattas, dragon boat races, horticultural shows, music and folk festivals build up a great picture of Cornwall’s rich cultural heritage, which is celebrated each year in this historic county. Don’t miss out – book a weekend or longer in Cornwall and join in with some of these fun events this summer.