May events you simply cannot miss

Dancing the night away at an outdoor festival, feasting on local food and getting in and amongst Cornwall’s nooks and crannies is what Cornwall Summer Time is all about. Here’s a pick of events taking place in May with the feel-good CST vibe…

1st May
Padstow Obby Oss Festival
Padstow has been heralding the start of summer for centuries with their annual May Day (aka Obby Oss Day) Festival. The town gets decked out in flags, flowers and greenery and two ‘Osses swirl their way through the packed out street to music, laughter and masses of tradition. It’s Padstow at its best and good old Cornish culture in the bucket-load!


6th May
Helston Flora Day
Say goodbye to darkness and hello to light by joining the townsfolk of Helston for this annual spring festival. When the big bass drum strikes the first beat of music at seven in the morning some eighty couples weave through the town in a rousing display of dance and tradition. Family dance, music and laughter from dawn till dusk.


6th – 13th May
Fowey Festival of Art & Literature
Join some of the world’s best selling authors for a weeklong celebration of literature themed talks, interviews, workshops and festivities in Fowey, the former home of Daphne du Maurier and celebrated authors Sir Arthur Quiller-Couch and Kenneth Grahame. Soak in the atmosphere and get the creative juices well and truly flowing.


19th – 21st May
Aspall Polo on the Beach, Watergate Bay
Back for a tenth year Aspall Polo on the Beach is Watergate Bay’s biggest and most exciting event. Combining world-class polo, equestrian displays, food and drink and live entertainment, this event is a masterpiece for spectators on every level.

13th and 14th May
St Ives Food and Drink Festival
Taste, try, meet, buy, and enjoy the finest flavours and tastes that Cornwall has to offer, see some of the best chefs in the county giving cooking demonstrations and enjoy everything that St Ives has to offer, including some of the best food and drink producers anywhere in the UK.


26th – 28th May
Masked Ball, Porthleven
Cut into a cliff-top near Porthleven and overlooking stunning Mount's Bay, the Masked Ball is an immersive multi-level party kingdom populated by a kaleidoscope of cool and crazy characters, all dressed to excess. 


26th May – 4th June
Fal River Festival
Celebrating life on the River Fal this community festival encompasses over 150 events, including a fish festival, gig racing, swimming, wildlife walks and lots more.


27th May – 4th June 
Open Studios Cornwall
Artists across Cornwall throw open their studio doors to the public for nine days. Tour undiscovered corners of the county and explore unusual studios spaces from remote cottages and chapels to beachside galleries and historic buildings. It’s an opportunity to meet the creators behind truly distinct finds including sculpture, glasswork, ceramic, painting and textiles.


28th May - 3rd June
The King's Arms Lobster Festival, Mevagissey
Six days of lobster dishes, wine tastings and live music.