Revived in 1996, Polperro Festival is based on a much older tradition dating back centuries which celebrates the coming of summer and was born from a mixture of known old traditions, and the community’s wish to attract more people to this beautiful south coast village.
The week long free festival includes plenty of live music, an arts and crafts fair, a comedy night, the lighting of the solstice bonfire, the colourful village carnival and a unique mock mayor choosing ceremony with the winner being wheeled through the town, stopping at each inn before finally being dunked in the sea!
How can I take part?
The streets of Polperro are incredibly narrow but thankfully nonessential traffic is forbidden. There is a large car park at the top of the village and a regular tram that takes visitors down to the harbour (1/2 mile) if you don’t want to walk. It’s a real community festival and you’ll receive a warm welcome to all the events which showcase some great art – Cornwall is renowned for its creative inspiration after all – music acts that range from rock bands and folk to brass bands and male voice choirs and there’s also the sell-out comedy night featuring some of the UK’s top upcoming comedians. Local pubs book their own live music too, so you’ll find plenty of entertainment all through the day and into the night.
Did you know?
Polperro still has a small fishing fleet and the village is renowned for its shellfish. While you’re there try a delicious crab sandwich. Polperro’s secluded position made the village an ideal base for smuggling back in the 1700s when high taxes on commodities such as tea and salt created an illicit trade with ports on the continent. Pop into Polperro Museum to learn more.