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St Austell Torchlight Carnival: A winter carnival with a big reputation

The St Austell Torchlight Carnival is gaining in popularity with every passing year and with the involvement of the artists from the Eden Project you can be assured that the whole thing is pretty spectacular.
The St Austell Torchlight Carnival takes place on the third Saturday in November. It is gaining in popularity with every passing year and with the involvement of the artists from the Eden Project you can be assured that the whole thing is pretty spectacular. Combine the carnival with a visit to any one of the nearby attractions and you have the perfect excuse for a long weekend in Cornwall.

St Austell Torchlight Carnival is a full day event

The St Austell Torchlight Carnival is not just an evening carnival, as the reference to torchlight may suggest. The carnival fun lasts for the whole day and into the evening with a brilliant assortment of floats and entertainment that makes its way through the town.

The carnival parade gathers for judging around 4:30pm at John Keay House which is the place to be if you want a quick preview of the floats. The procession then parades through the town from 6pm and includes samba bands, local brass bands and musicians, floats, local groups and plenty of colourful handmade lanterns.

You need to find a place along the route early for a great view of the beautifully lit floats. The carnival goes along Tregonissey Road, Poltair Road, Carlyon Road, Kings Avenue, East Hill, South Street, Trinity Street, Truro Road, Bridge Road, Moorland Road, South Street, Penwinnick Road and ending at the One Stop Shop for prize giving.

Money up for grabs at the St Austell Torchlight Carnival!

The date of the carnival changes from year to year but it is usually held on the third Saturday in November. The day itself gets under way in the morning with lots of stalls set up in the middle of St Austell with entertainment, food stalls and other activities laid on to keep everyone amused, but it is the finale of the day in the Torchlight Carnival which really is the icing on the cake.

The famous Eden Project is nearby and their involvement in the event includes their artists working with various schools in the area to come up with an amazing array of lanterns that are displayed throughout the torchlight carnival. They always look quite spectacular as they are paraded through the streets after dark.

The St Austell Torchlight Carnival starts just before it gets dark. If you were wondering why the competition between the floats is so intense, it is because there are £3000 of cash prizes at stake for the best in each category as well as trophies.

Things to do around St Austell

has plenty of shops, a large market and attractions such as the St Austell Brewery which can be toured, so anyone who is thinking of making a weekend of it will not be disappointed. If the entertainment that is lined up throughout the day is not enough for you there are lots of places nearby to visit. Why not book a holiday cottage for a long weekend and take in the nearby and too?

For something a little different, how about a visit to the ? It’s not far from the centre of St Austell and it really is very interesting and appealing to both adults and children. The staff all go out of their way to make your visit one to remember and as it closes its doors at 4pm you will have plenty of time to get back to the town for the evening parade in the St Austell Carnival.

Do you know of any other Christmas carnivals where you might want to stay for a few days and enjoy more local attractions? We’d love to have your personal input and ideas!

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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