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A Guide to the Top Cornish Spring Shows and Festivals

One does not require an excuse to pay a visit to the land of Cornwall, but should you like one anyway the county plays host to a bevy of entertaining and engaging days out.

There are indeed myriad options available, so cutting through what’s on offer to find what’s right for you and yours can sometimes be overwhelming. This is why we are presenting to you this guide; this collection of the top Cornish spring shows and festivals.

Cornwall Spring Flower Show


The Cornwall Spring Flower show is about to celebrate its 106th edition of this two day event. This fabulous showcase of all things horticultural takes place on the grounds of the Boconnoc House – an 18th century mansion – and attracts around 8,000 visitors.

Peter Gilmore, the show’s director for 2017, explains the event’s family appeal and what’s in store for 2017.

“This CGS Spring Flower Show 2017, sponsored by Atkins Ferrie Wealth Management, is the south west’s first major horticultural showcase of the year. With a new layout, larger marquees with indoor seating areas, and much more to see, do and enjoy, this celebration of Cornwall’s rich garden heritage will be even more popular as a day out for all the family”.

Featuring competitive classes, more than 100 trade stands, and delightful garden shows, the Cornwall Spring Flower Show is the perfect place to delve into everything you love about plants, gardens, and general horticultural activities.

The Cornwall Spring Flower Show takes place from the 1st – 2nd April.

Porthleven Food & music Festival


If a weekend of great Cornish food, beer, music, and just good honest fun sounds great to you, then you will want to pay a visit to the Porthleven Food & Music Festival when visiting a Cornwall holiday park this spring.

We spoke to Porthleven Food & Music Festival about the festivities, who said the following about what makes their event so successful.

“The Festival has grown to be one of the largest of its kind in the South West. We are now in our ninth year and remain true to our original ethos, to ensure the festival remains family-friendly, put community at the heart of what we do and keep it local. What makes the Festival so incredible is the quality of the events, the fact that it remains largely free and the enthusiasm of the volunteers and helpers. Porthleven is an extremely inclusive and friendly town and it shows”.

With the festival taking place in the idyllic harbour town of Porthleven, the quayside is lined with enough food, drink and general merriment to make this particular festival one you will want to come back to time and time again. With cookery demonstrations and craft stalls on display, all adding to the general party atmosphere, Porthlevan Food & Music Festival really has it all.

Porthleven Food & Music Festival takes place from the 21st – 23rd April.

Cornwall International Male Choral Festival


Perhaps not something one automatically thinks of when deciding to visit a local festival, but the Cornwall International Male Choral Festival is without doubt a special event that all lovers of music are bound to enjoy.

Ranging from boys to senior citizens, the festival brings all together to participate in concerts, competitions, and various tourist attractions. Choirs from all over the world make the pilgrimage to Cornwall for this celebration which is held in every part of the county – making it an ideal and accessible event to enjoy while in the area.

Festival director Rob Elliott said the following to us about this truly global gathering.

“The Festival is the World’s Largest Male Choral Festival, and we have over 60 Adult and Youth Choirs from all over the world taking part this year, at over 40 venues all over Cornwall”.

The Cornwall International Male Choral Festival takes place from the 27th April – 1st May.

Trevithick day

steam engine

If trains and old school engineering are your thing, or even if you and the family are just looking for a good fun day out, Trevithick Day in Camborne is a must attend April event.

For one whole day this celebration of the engineering genius that is Richard Trevithick provides this important player in Cornwall’s mining industry the recognition he deserves. There are plenty of fascinating steam engines on display – sure to delight the little ones – along with singing, dancing and parades to enjoy.

Hosted all across the town of Camborne, the streets become filled with trade stalls, brass bands, musicians, and clowns, making for one unforgettable Cornish day out.

Trevithick Day occurs on April 29th.

St Ives May Day


Celebrating the end of the darkly desolate times of winter and ringing in the beauty of fertile spring, is surely something everyone can get behind, therefore making the St Ives May Day a truly terrific event.

The Rotary Club, who host the event, said to us the following about the history of St Ives May Day.

“The celebrations can be shown to date back to 1573 and were revived in the year 2000 by the then Mayor, Chris Cocklin. This has continued each year, formally with the help of the St. Ives Lions and more recently with the help of the St Ives Rotary Club”.

Steeped in tradition and ritual, the St Ives May Day begins at midday when the Mayor chooses the May King and Queen, traditional garments are in full force and the ceremonies don’t stop there. Parades down to the harbour where Cornish dancing takes place and local bands and choirs score the festival throughout the rest of the day. If you are one for pomp and circumstance, this is the festival for you.

St Ives May Day takes place on May 1st.

Fowey Festival of Arts & Literature

open book

If you fancy a change of pace from all the partying, and if you are looking for something a little more low key but no less engaging, the Fowey Festival of Arts & Literature is a wonderful choice this spring.

Spread across various locations in Fowey, this is Cornwall’s premier literary gathering. Organised by the du Maurier Festival Society, and set in this lovely riverside town, the festival brings together a truly special and diverse range of speakers, authors, musicians and artists – making this more than a book lovers paradise.

Any reader will know the benefits and joy that literature can bring, and the Fowey Festival of Arts & Literature is a perfect example of that.

The Fowey Festival of Arts & Literature takes place between the 6th and 13th of May.

Image Credit: Cornwall Spring Flower Show   Porthlevan Food Festival    Cornwall International Male Choral Festival    Ashley Dace   Rotary Club of St. Ives

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