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Embrace the Cornish culture at the Fal River Festival

Cornwall's Fal River Festival packs in 150 events to amuse visitors of all ages. It includes water-themed events including films on the ferry after dark!
Organised by the , the Fal River Festival includes 150 different events over a 10 day period starting the fourth Friday in May. It runs over two full weekends including the late May Bank Holiday.

This not-for-profit community festival has everything you can think of water-wise, from swimming and fishing competitions to gig racing. It promises sporting and cultural events, concerts, workshops, drama, music and dance, and you won’t necessarily have to get your hair wet to join in!
Each year the Fal River Festival attracts over 100,000 visitors who help raise around £75,000 for charity while downing 3,000 pints of local cider, lager and ale! Sounds like a successful formula for a wonderful day out!

Where to find events at the Fal River Festival

The festival is hosted in various towns and villages that border the Fal River. The event includes many lovely villages along the Roseland peninsula, as well as the better known haunts of and Truro.

The festival was started in 2006 to embrace the culture, history, people, places and industry that are dependent upon this Cornish river. With a diversity of traditional sports and organized events, the festival gives visitors and residents the chance to learn more about life on the river.

The scenic Fal River

Running through an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, the Fal River is one of Cornwall’s most popular destinations. Its source is on Goss Moor near St Columb and it runs past , and .

Its natural harbour is one of the deepest in the world and has been used in the past for vessels. The area is now favoured by walkers, canoeists and nature lovers. I love taking a trip on the which has been in operation for centuries between Feock and Philleigh. It carries just 34 cars.

In the past, the 10-day festival has included entertainment as diverse as itself. Expect live jazz on the harbour at St Mawes, film shows on ferries moored offshore and celebrity chefs demonstrating how to enjoy the local seafood a hundred different ways. Where else can you find such diversity and fun for all the family? Children flock into the area to enjoy street theatre performances, couples attend concerts by traditional male voice choirs and youngsters dance until late to lively Celtic music.

Whats’s going on at the Fal River Festival

The Fal River Festival starts with an official opening ceremony and quickly picks up the pace with a packed schedule of events. How about a Castle to Castle Swim or a Nordic Walking Workshop? Art comes in many forms and the festival includes art exhibitions and workshops at the Falmouth Art Gallery. There may even be a glass-blowing demonstration.

The history of the Fal River is not ignored, as it was probably the river that first attracted settlers to the area. The (NMMC) always gets involved in events about boats, or perhaps some awesome archaeology.

Young visitors will be kept busy with informative fun entertainment such as kid’s theatre or kitemaking. Get set for the usual Castle to Castle Swim (the water’s not warm in May!), or take part in a guided kayaking river trip or a beach BBQ.

The King Harry Ferry is a key part of the river’s history. It makes the perfect theatre after dark when films are shown on deck in the Film on the Ferry event. Fishing enthusiasts can choose to enter fishing competitions, watch demonstrations on cooking fish or put in a bid at the Fish Auction in aid of the local Fisherman’s Mission.

Finally, there is live music on the quay, choirs, talks and even a Fal River Walk for meeting old and new friends. You’ll certainly need to pick up a festival programme online or from one of the tourist information centres in the area.

Wow! Doesn’t this make you want to attend this great festival? If you have attended this action-packed festival we would love to hear what you did and enjoyed. Do you know of other similar festivals you can recommend to visitors in the area?

About Gillian Birch

Born in Cheshire, Gillian Birch moved to Cornwall at her earliest opportunity and never looked back. After 20 years, her ongoing discovery of popular attractions, quiet footpaths and local eateries has made her a fount of knowledge as she entertains readers with her informative articles on the hidden gems of Devon & Cornwall from a local point-of-view.

Find Gillian on Google+, and Twitter.

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