Mazey Day has always been one of my favourite days in Penzance. In actual fact, it’s more than a day, as it’s part of the week-long Golowan Festival, which was traditionally a midsummer celebration in the 19th century. According to the Golowan website, it ceased in the 1890s as the fires featured (at the time – not these days) were deemed an insurance risk. Fortunately, my primary school was one of the founding partners of its relaunch in 1991.
Mazey Day itself is the ultimate celebration, with local schools taking part in a parade and stall-holders lining the town centre selling locally-made food, jewellery and arts and crafts. Everyone and their mother comes out and the streets are packed with people celebrating.
I watched the 11am, 1pm and 3pm parades. Here are some of my favourite creations.
Of course, the parade isn’t just about schools showing off their artistic talents. They’re also peppered with music, dancers, circus performers – even skaters! Check out the fabulous Rapscallion Rollers, who I used to skate with.
You never know who might meet in the crowds! You can always be sure to spot Lauren from The Enjoyable Rut, cider in hand.
As a school kid it was great to get involved in the parades themselves as it usually meant a few days ditching usual classroom activities and making something to carry. As a teenager it was more about Mazey Eve – heading down to the promenade, listening to live music, having a go on the fair rides and watching the fireworks with a pint of cider in hand. That’s right – this weekend you can walk around with alcohol! Unfortunately, this year it was absolutely pissing it down, so we didn’t risk heading down to see them. No matter, as I was asleep on the sofa before it all kicked off! I’m not as young as I used to be…
I wandered around with my Gran this year, for the first time in ages. We headed down to Morrab Gardens as my Dad had mentioned that there was live music and a book stall. It turned out that it’s a really lovely atmosphere and great to just sit and chill for the afternoon. Next year I’ll be dragging the boyfriend there for a peaceful alternative!
Quay Day, the day after Mazey Day, sees some of the stall-holders set up shop along the promenade alongside more live music and drinks. It’s generally more laid back but uber busy – more on that tomorrow!