Throughout Penwith, schools and other local participants are creating colourful and glamorous creations to thrill the crowds of onlookers ready to flood the streets of Penzance.
The festival is not only attended by the locals of Penzance, but also visitors from all over the South West descend on the town to enjoy the festival. For those festival attendees who have to travel, why not make a weekend of it and book into the picturesque surroundings of the Hotel Penzance which is the perfect base to enjoy all of the weekend’s festivities. Hotel Penzance is a five minute walk from all of the events taking place in Penzance in this special week.
The history of Golowan dates back to the 1800’s and was one of the last surviving Midsummer’s day festivals. In 1890 the festival was prohibited by the Penzance Borough Council due to increased insurance premiums and perceived fire risks in the town. In the 1800’s the celebrations were based on the lighting of fireworks, tar barrels and torches on the eve of 23 June every year (St John’s Eve). Towards the end of the festival the youth of the town would take part in the ancient serpent dance and jump through the dying embers of the flames. The day after these celebrations, a ‘Midsummer’s Day’ fair took place on Penzance quay with crowds enjoying boat rides and other entertainment.
These celebrations were revived in 1991 by a local group of artists and has grown into the spectacle it is today. So enjoy the week’s celebrations, the Mazey day parade on the 27th and the quayside fair on the 28th June. Come and join us in the weeks festivities at the Hotel Penzance.