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Giants, whippets, flower boats & maypoles mark May in Cornwall

Cornwall is a unique county with a long history, and to prove it just look at these festivals taking place in May! There are floral dances, giants, boat races, dog festivals, literary and arts festivals all vying for your attendance.
May is one of the busiest months in Cornwall for festivals, many of which have their roots in Cornish culture and history. Where else can you watch the slaying of a giant, follow a Black Prince Flower Boat Procession or attend a Whippets Tea Party?

Best checkout our articles on what’s happening in your favourite area of Cornwall, whether you live in the county or are just visiting.

Take part in the Pee Whip Ceremony at St Ives May Day

St Ives May Day on 5 May 2014 celebrates spring in style with the traditional Pee Whip Ceremony. For the uninitiated, our article explains it all as local royalty leads a parade through the streets of St Ives with maypole dancing and more on the quay.

Dancing and flowers at the traditional Helston Furry Day

Take your partners for the Floral Dance which is an integral part of the traditional Helston Furry Day on Thursday 8 May 2014. The town springs to life with activities and music and visitors are welcome to join in the fun.

Dress up in style and join in, or watch the series of dances that mark this special Cornish event at Helston’s Furry Day.

Beat the legendary giant at the St Agnes Bolster Festival

Visit St Agnes over the May Day Bank Holiday from 2-5 May 2014 and see the 28-foot Giant Bolster defeated once again as part of the St Agnes Bolster Festival. The event includes a colourful pageant about local history and a procession to the top of St Agnes Beacon.

Read on to learn more about the Giant Bolster Festival and this lovely Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

Celebrate history with the Black Prince Flower Boat Procession near Torpoint

More May Day May-hem takes place at the Black Prince Flower Boat Procession through Millbrook, Kingsand and Cawsand. Find out more about the “Black Prince” and decide whether you want to participate in this fun event on 5 May 2014.

St Germans goes to the dogs with the Port Eliot Dog Festival

Raise money for charity by attending the Port Eliot Dog Festival on Saturday 10 May 2014. It includes cream teas for owners and a Whippet Tea Party for four-legged visitors.

Roo and Lark, the resident whippets on the Port Eliot Estate, look forward to meeting up with all their old friends and making some new ones. Read on to get the lowdown about the full day’s events at the unique Port Eliot Dog Festival.

Fowey Festival of Words and Music inspired by Daphne du Maurier

The Fowey Festival of Words and Music is a great reason to visit Cornwall in May! This year the festival takes place from Saturday 10-17 May 2014 and continues its high standard.

Guest speakers include interviews with bestselling authors Lynda La Plante and Ruth Rendell – how exciting is that? Award-winning chef Michael Caines is the speaker at the Friends and Patrons Lunch and Justine Picardie, author and editor of Harper’s Bazaar, will be delivering the du Maurier lecture. There’s plenty more name-dropping in our full article too!

The St Ives Literature Festival is definitely in the “write” place

Also running from 10-17 May 2014, the St Ives Literature Festival is packed with creative workshops, music, poetry and book readings to thrill local artists and writers. Head down to Norway Square and drop into the free poetry and music events or attend the Big Frug where poets, singers and musicians put on an impromptu concert of their own works in an evening of surprises.

The arts are alive and well at Liskeard Vital Spark Festival

Moved forward from April to May this year, the Liskeard Vital Spark Festival brings more local music and drama to the town from 10-24 May 2014. This year’s theme of “Connections” has inspired “Tales from the Track” about the branch line between Liskeard and Looe.

Other arts events include the Big Share, the Big Party, a local art exhibition and entertainer Matt Harvey for a one-night performance, so book your tickets now!

Embrace the Cornish culture at the Fal River Festival

This month’s events in Cornwall end on a high note with the Fal River Festival. It packs in over 150 events between 23 May and 1 June 2014. There are fishing and swimming competitions, concerts, workshops, walks and musical events galore. Read more about it or download a festival programme online.

There’s certainly no excuse to be bored in Cornwall this month!

We’d love to hear your feedback if you attend one of these fun festivals or events. Feel free to let us know below about your own local events too and we’ll highlight them for others to join in and attend.

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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