The best Cornwall events in 2024

The streets of Penzance will be packed with people wearing awesome costumes for the Montol Festival. Image courtesy of Ian Mayou Photography and Cornwall News Images


It was a rough couple of years for the world between 2020 and early 2022. And that meant a tough couple of years for Cornwall, which relies on fab events, happenings and tourism for a large share of its income. The COVID-19 pandemic and its lockdowns and rules meant that so many people spent so much time at home or, at least, well away from gigs, festivals, shows and live events. But in the summer of ’22, all that changed. There was a full programme of events that took place across Cornwall again and so many fests, concerts, traditional events and markets returned after a one or two-year hiatus. Then 2023 took it all to new heights as so many events and happenings took place throughout the Duchy over the whole year. Ah, but now it’s time for 2024. Tons of great events and things to do in Cornwall 2024 are on the menu. Some of these events will be small and local. Others will be massive, pulling people in from across the globe. On the bill, there’s live music aplenty, sporting events, Cornish festivals 2024, food extravaganzas, boat shows, historical fests – oh, the list goes on and on. We at Proper Cornwall love fests and events, so we’ve sifted through what’s on over the whole year and selected only the best recommendations for you. This list is updated regularly so here are the Cornwall events in 2024 that you just won’t want to miss…

Bodmin Wassail 2024

Date: Saturday 6 January 2024
Type: Historic Cornish charitable singing tradition that’s in its 400th year!
Suitable for: Anyone who loves charity, gentlemen and fine songs
Locations: All across Bodmin (public performances are listed in our story, so click the ‘Read More’ below)

Our first recommended Cornwall thing to do in 2024 is this epic slice of Cornish history that’s still going in Bodmin. It’s a huge year for the Bodmin Wassail as it celebrates its 400th birthday. Basically, a group of dressed-to-the-tails local gentlemen known as ‘wassailers’ spend the day and late evening visiting all sorts of places in the town, singing three traditional songs at each venue. They raise cash for a local charity along the way and basically the town has a lot of fun while supporting this ancient tradition. Click the yellow button below to find out more!

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Hurling of the Ball in St Columb Major 2024

Dates: Tuesday 13 February (first game from 4.30pm) & Saturday 24 February 2024 (second game, also from 4.30pm)
Type: Traditional Cornish community and extreme sports festival
Suitable for: People who want to witness a unique slice of Cornish sporting tradition
Location: St Columb Major (starts in Market place), near Newquay

Our second recommended Cornwall thing to do in 2024 is this rural sports extravaganza. Well, we say ‘sports’ but, for the uninitiated, the Hurling of the Ball in St Columb Major town looks like a rugby scrum without the rules. However, there are rules and actually there’s plenty of gameplay to match the rolling around in the mud, making this a highly entertaining and energetic sport. This is a traditional Cornish game dating back more than 500 years. But what actually happens on either day? You need to click the ‘Read More’ button to discover that…

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St Piran’s Day 2024

Date: Tuesday 5 March 2024 (with events also taking place 1-4 March 2024)
Type: The big one. This traditional Cornish Patron Saint’s day is a must-celebrate across the Duchy
Suitable for: Saints, patriots, fun-lovers and repenting sinners
Location: Throughout Cornwall. There’s a notable march at Perranporth Beach but celebrations happen everywhere!

It’s more than fitting that Cornwall’s patron saint gets his own day of celebration every year. On Tuesday 5 March 2024, expect lively events to take place across the Duchy, including in the centre of Falmouth (pictured above), across Newquay and on Perranporth Beach, where hundreds of people dressed in black, white and gold march upon St Piran’s Cross and St Piran’s Oratory. Our team at Proper Cornwall will let you know what’s going on but if you head to your nearest town, there should be something happening to mark this most Cornish of days.

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Rattler Fest 2024

Date: Saturday 19 and Sunday 20 April 2024
Type: Adults-only live music festival with amazing touring acts and tons of activities throughout
Suitable for: Anyone who loves quaffing Rattler Cornish cider while watching great bands
Location: Healey’s Cornish Cyder Farm, Penhallow, between Truro and Perranporth

Scouting For Girls, anyone? East17? Umm, Dick and Dom? If these acts get you excited, then you’ll be wanting your tickets to this unique Cornish music festival that’s in its fourth year in 2024. Of course, there’ll be plenty of other amazing bands at the festival, as well as unique activities like a Cornish Olympic games, late night secret spots, food vans and just an electric atmosphere that make this one of the best music fests in the Duchy. Did we mention Rattler cider being everywhere? Surely we did, right? Ah, well, you’ll find out when you’re there…

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Cornwall Pride 2024

Dates: Saturday 27 April-Saturday 5 October 2024 (most events in May, June and July)
Type: Colourful LGBTQ+ Pride parades, activities and events across the Duchy
Suitable for: Everyone. That’s always the central point of Pride
Locations: Truro, FalmouthNewquayBodmin, Penzance, St IvesBude, St Austell, Redruth, Camborne and Saltash!

Cornwall Pride 2023 was epic. It was a bumper year with so many people hitting the streets in support of the parades. Cornwall Pride 2024 promises to be even bigger, better and more colourful. On selected Saturdays (and the occasional Sunday!) between April and October, the parades and events take place in towns across the Duchy, including our only city. And then there’s a special conference later in the year to round it all off. We list every date and event in our dedicated story, so click on the ‘Read More’ button and expect a fab 2024 Cornwall Pride!

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Trevithick Day 2024

Date: Saturday 27 April 2024
Type: Historical celebration of an inventing genius and his fantastic Cornish hometown
Suitable for: History buffs, engineering enthusiasts and anyone who loves Camborne
Location: All over Camborne, next to Redruth

Richard Trevithick’s inventions transformed not just the Cornish mining industry but the global one. He’s a local hero in Camborne and he’s toasted in April every year. On Saturday 27 April 2024, expect the whole town to pay tribute to this great man with a massive steam engine parade, local choir performances, buskers, street food, entertainers, special stalls, a fairground, historical exhibitions, stationary engines, competitions, vintage buses, dances and, of course, the Camborne Town Band in action. Up to 30,000 people should be in town. Will you?

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Obby Oss 2024

Date: Wednesday 1 May 2024
Type: Traditional festival with loads of colour and those fun red and blue ‘osses!
Suitable for: Anyone of any age who likes tradition, fun and dancing in the streets
Location: All over Padstow

Of all the Cornish festivals 2024, this has to be the most energising! Obby Oss 2024 on 1 May is set to be packed with people who are there to mark a Cornish tradition and to have lots of fun at the same time. The festival, which takes place across Padstow, stars two ‘osses, a blue one and an old one, which dance alongside people dressed in white through the streets and alleys, all the way being taunted by a ‘teazer’. There’s an electric atmosphere in the harbour town and there are flags, bright flowers, dancers, musicians, a May Pole and more. Epic!

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Helston Flora Day 2024

Date: Wednesday 8 May 2024
Type: Flowery, bright and traditional fest with dancing in the streets
Suitable for: Lovers of traditional Cornish festivities in one of the Duchy’s most fun towns
Location: All around Helston

Helston Flora Day 2024 should be an utter barnstormer! It moved in 2023 from its scheduled spot on Saturday 6 May to Friday 5 May so it didn’t clash with the King’s coronation but now it’s back on its proper day, Wednesday 8 May 2024. This flowery and bright event that takes place all over Helston is a load of fun. Expect dancing in the streets, flag waving all over town and just plenty of colour, tradition and good spirits. Click on the ‘Read More’ button below to discover the origins of this festival that may or may not be rooted in the story of a dragon…

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Fowey Festival of Arts and Literature 2024 (Daphne du Maurier Festival!)

Date: Friday 10-Saturday 18 May 2024
Type: Probably the best literary festival in Cornwall!
Suitable for: Culture vultures, book lovers and anyone who loves Daphne du Maurier
Location: Various venues across the town of Fowey

This is the big one when it comes to literary fests in the Duchy! Between 10 and 18 May 2024, the south Cornish coastal town of Fowey comes alive with music, art and the written word, all in the name of British novelist Daphne du Maurier, who used to live in the town. Literary talks, book signings, meet-and-greets with massive names in literature, guided art walks, alfresco musical performances (like the one with inimitable Seth Lakeman, pictured above), garden showings and, well, much more, make this mammoth literary fest a must-experience.

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Royal Cornwall Show 2024

Date: Thursday 6-Saturday 8 June 2024
Type: The grandest agricultural and cultural fair in the Duchy
Suitable for: Country folk, lovers of agriculture, big and little kids who adore farm animals and anyone who wants a right royal good time!
Location: Royal County Showground, Wadebridge

Nothing says ‘Cornwall event 2024’ quite like the Royal Cornwall Show 2024. That’s not because it’s typical of Cornwall or represents the Duchy in any way. It’s simply because it’s grand, it’s famous and it’s an incredible rural experience. Charles and Camilla were at the 2022 event and, of course, there was a certain coronation in 2023, so we’ll have to see if the King returns in 2024. If not, nevertheless expect a royal or two alongside other celebs who want to catch the farm animals, vegetables, agricultural machines and much more besides.

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Falmouth International Sea Shanty Festival 2024

Date: Friday 14-Sunday 16 June 2024
Type: One great big foamy folk music festival with songs o’ the sea at every turn
Suitable for: Singers, listeners and adorers of sea shanties in Cornwall
Location: Various venues across Falmouth

If the Royal Cornwall Agricultural Show 2024 is the big one when it comes to rural shows and Boardmasters 2024 is the big one when it comes to beach-bound music festivals, then the Falmouth International Sea Shanty Festival 2024 is the big one when it comes to sea shanty fests, of which there are a fair few every year in Cornwall. Click on the ‘Read More’ button to discover what the organisers call ‘the largest free nautical music and song festival in Europe’. Shanty singing on the streets of Falmouth in mid-June. You know Cornwall does it best!

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Golowan Festival 2024

Date: Friday 21-Sunday 30 June 2024
Type: Traditional Cornish midsummer festival with plenty of parades, costumes, fireworks and live performances
Suitable for: Lovers of Cornish traditional festivities in one of Cornwall’s most beautiful towns
Location: All around the streets of Penzance!

Penzance is the place to be between 21 and 30 June 2024 for the Golowan Festival 2024. This is a traditional midsummer fest that features spectacular parades and performances, music by the Golowan Band, workshops on all sorts of things, traditional ‘serpent dances’, kids activities, a marquee featuring musical acts, ‘mock mayor elections’ and, oh, just read our story by clicking on the yellow button below! We particularly recommend hitting up the famous Mazey Day on Saturday 29 June 2024. It’s always an experience. Go go Golowan!

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Armchair Adventure Festival 2024

Date: Thursday 25-Sunday 28 July 2024
Type: A festival all about adventure! Talks, activities, workshops and events that focus on life’s intrepid types
Suitable for: People looking for inspiration (and a cracking view of the River Tamar!)
Location: Mount Edgcumbe Country Park, Cremyll, Torpoint, near Plymouth and Looe

In 2020, thanks to that lovely coronavirus, we were all in lockdown. But some bright sparks came up with this festival that celebrates adventure in all its different forms. And it was hit, becoming the world’s first completely live and virtual festival dedicated to adventure. Then, those same bright sparks turned it into a completely live and in-person festival at Mount Edgcumbe Country Park in 2021. Now it’s in its fourth in-person edition in July 2024. Iconic speakers, fun activities and a sense of endeavour make this fest a wholesome, unique affair.

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Boardmasters 2024

Date: Wednesday 7-Sunday 11 August 2024
Type: Massive festival with global acts and a load of surfing to boot
Suitable for: Party people of all creeds, backgrounds and ages who just love to soak up big music next to corking waves
Location: Fistral Beach and Watergate BayNewquay

We’re not sure that Boardmasters 2024 needs an introduction. But here we go anyway: one of the biggest music festivals in the South West takes place on Newquay‘s beaches and around the town between Wednesday 7 and Sunday 11 August 2024. The acts will be international stars and other incredible musical talents from far and wide. There’s a load of surfing, skateboarding and BMX competitions that run in parallel to the music. And it’s just all really big and all really great, from start to finish. But, of course, you knew that already…

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Falmouth Week 2024

Date: Friday 9-Saturday 17 August 2024
Type: An estuary-wide extravaganza of energising events, activities and gigs all around Falmouth and on its waters
Suitable for: Sailing fans, music lovers, foodies and everyone else who wants to catch the action, including (hopefully) the Red Arrows!
Location: Various locations around Falmouth

Extreme sports around Falmouth‘s harbour. Sailing races out in the estuary. Live music and fab food cooked up on dry land. The inimitable Red Arrows that (weather permitting) fly over the bay. Interactive games. Boat parades. Kids entertainment. A massive market. And so much more at Falmouth Week 2024, which dates back to 1837, when it was a simple sailing regatta. Well, it’s still a regatta but much more besides. Prepare for nine days of thrills and spills out on the water as you fill your eyes, ears and belly in this idyllic Cornish town.

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Portscatho Regatta 2024

Date: Saturday 24 August 2024
Type: One of the best traditional historic regattas in Cornwall
Suitable for: Sailing fans, families and anyone who wants a fun day next to the foam
Location: The Lugger, Portscatho on the Roseland Peninsula, near Truro and Falmouth

There are tons of regattas of all shapes and sizes that take place across Cornwall’s coast and on some rivers too each year, especially over the summer. Do check out our Proper Cornwall events pages to find our stories and recommendations on so many of them. But there’s something about the Portscatho Regatta 2024 that makes it stand out. It’s historic, it’s charming, it’s superbly organised and, well, read all about it by clicking that ‘Read More’ button below. Find out why we call it one of Cornwall’s best regattas of the year…

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Lands End 100 2024

Date: Saturday 14 September 2024
Type: Gruelling cycling race across the Cornish countryside
Suitable for: Riders over 11 or spectators of any age who wants to cheer on the cyclists!
Locations: Folly Field, Marazion, and all around the Cornish ‘Wild West‘, including Penzance and Hayle

Put pedal to the metal in one of Cornwall’s grandest cycle races of the year. Want to take part? No problem. Click on the link below and join up on the official website. Want to watch the action as it unfolds? No problem. Also click on the link and find out where best to see up to 1,000 cyclists racing around the winding roads and chugging hills in the western reaches of Cornwall. The Land’s End 100 2024 Sportive event has 105-mile Long Route, 72-mile Medium Route and 46-mile Short Route options. It’s tough but full of great views. Get involved.

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St Ives September Festival 2024

Date: Saturday 14-Saturday 28 September 2024
Type: Music and arts festival around one of Cornwall’s most famous towns
Suitable for: Art lovers and anyone who just digs a good performance!
Location: All around St Ives

The heart of Cornish art. That perfectly describes St Ives and its place as art central in the Duchy for so many years now. So when the doors of galleries and studios across the pretty town are thrown open every year for the St Ives September Festival, it’s a really special time for both residents and visitors. This 15-day ‘extravaganza of music and arts’ brings the town alive with performances, film showings, open studios, workshops, talks, walks and everything in between. Plus, there’s loads for kids throughout as well. An absolute September treat.

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UK Saltwater Fly Fishing Festival 2024

Date: Thursday 3-Sunday 6 October 2024
Type: Fly fishing festival in the south Cornwall waters
Suitable for: Angling enthusiasts who want some competition and camaraderie
Location: St Mawes Harbour, near Falmouth

Anglers unite. This festival in September in the waters around St Mawes Harbour near Falmouth is billed as ‘one of the biggest events to hit the game fishing scene for many years’. Fly fishers from around the world rock up to the event that covers all levels of ability in the watery sport. Expect the beaches and rocky areas around St Mawes to be packed with anglers during the festival, with participants encouraged to catch and release their game. Prizes, of course, are given out to the best fly fishers. That should hook you.

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Halloween at Trethevy 2024

Date: Monday 21 October-Thursday 31 October 2024
Type: Grisly, scary and fun Halloween installation and animatronics display that every year raises loads of dosh for charity
Suitable for: Everyone who wants a few frights and lots of fun. Perhaps really little ones should steer clear, though
Location: Trethevy, near St Nectan’s Glen and Tintagel, PL34 0BE

Mwahahahahahah. Proper Cornwall always makes a big deal out of Halloween in Cornwall because, well, we love it. Look out for all our event recommendations later in the year, however, for now, save the dates for Halloween at Trethevy 2024. Held on private land at Trethevy, near St Nectan’s Glen, this spooky animatronics display gets the family screaming with delight every year. It’s completely free too, although visitors are encouraged to donate cash to charity after enjoying the spectacular display. Charitable and ghoulish. We love it!

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Lowender 2024

Date: Friday 25-Sunday 27 October 2024
Type: Traditional Cornish music and Celtic dance festival
Suitable for: Lovers of Celtic song and dance and Cornish tradition
Location: Various venues across Redruth

Dance and song, done the traditionally Cornish way. Welcome to one of Cornwall’s most important and inspiring music and dance festivals. The annual Lowender Celtic Festival has been going for more than 40 years now (although it was renamed to simply Lowender in 2023) and attracts hundreds of performers from Celtic nations and regions to take part in ceilidhs – social gatherings with traditional folk dancing and music – as well as street dance and song demonstrations, talks, workshops, masterclasses and even Cornish wrestling. Grapple with that!

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Truro Christmas Market 2024

Date: Every day (including late night shopping on Wednesdays) from late November-24 December 2024
Type: In short, Cornwall’s best festive Christmas farmers market!
Suitable for: Christmas shoppers. So that’s all of us then…
Location: Lemon Quay, Truro (and other locations in the vicinity too)

There’s a load of events we could choose for our recommended Christmas choices in Cornwall. But we’ve gone for the BIG Truro Christmas Market 2024 because it’s so big and brilliant and festive and fun. Expect it to be open every day from late November right up to Christmas, including for late night shopping up until 9pm on Wednesdays mostly around Lemon Quay. Chrimbo food, mulled wine, art, local crafts, gift ideas, clothes and, oh, everything’s for sale! Click on the ‘Read More’ below for more details.

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Montol Festival 2024

Date: Saturday 21 December 2024
Type: Colourful Celtic-and-Christmas traditional midwinter festival in Penzance
Suitable for: Families, as long as that’s before nightfall. After dark, it’s all about good adult fun, masks and costumes!
Location: All over Penzance

One of the best traditional Cornish festivals of the year takes place at the end of it. On the same night as the winter solstice. The Montol Festival 2024 is set to be a beautiful sight and much fun to take part in. This is a modern revival of traditional Cornish midwinter customs that stretch back for hundreds of years. It’s a six-day arts and community festival in Penzance but its final day is Montol Eve on 21 December. This is a big celebration with ‘guise guilds’ and ‘obby ‘osses. Click below to discover this fest, which rounds off 2024 in Cornwall perfectly!

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