Originally a small fishing village, the most westerly town of Cornwall, Penzance, has grown over the centuries into a large, vibrant town and an exceedingly popular tourist destination.
The annual Golowan Festival takes place in Penzance in mid June, offering an eclectic programme of open-air theatre, musical performances and a vibrant fun fair. The event runs for a full week and encompasses the quirky Mazey Day Parades where locals and tourists can witness colourfully decorated floats and be entertained by a host of street performers including musicians, storytellers and choirs.
Many visitors pay a special visit for the Newlyn Fish Festival held on the late-August bank holiday weekend. Celebrating Cornwall’s rich fishing heritage and associated culture, the event features produce stalls, RNLI demonstrations and plenty of live musical entertainment.
In December, Penzance’s Montol Festival comprises six days of events celebrating Cornish traditions and the midwinter solstice. Visitors will be treated to a collection of carol concerts, mummers’ plays (traditional English folk performances), lantern and mask-making workshops, and strolling bands.
All year round, Penzance’s charming Acorn Theatre plays host to a range of creative performances including theatre, dance, music, films and choirs. Occupying a beautiful former Wesleyan Methodist chapel, the venue holds a special place in the hearts of locals and regular visitors alike.
Fans of digging up historical curiosities about Cornwall should pay a visit to Penlee House Gallery and Museum, where fascinating exhibits tell stories of Cornish heritage as well as offering talented artists a platform to showcase their work.