When: 4th February 2013
Where: St Ives, Cornwall
What is it?
On Monday 4th February the town of St Ives celebrates the Feast day of St Ia. St Ives Feast day always falls on the first Monday after 3rd February, the anniversary of the consecration of the Parish Church of St Ia in 1434.
The day starts at 9.30am with the civic parade which begins at the Guildhall and proceeds to Venton Ia well. The parish priest will then bless the silver ball and after the ceremony the procession returns to the St Ia Parish Church yard for the hurling of the silver ball.
At 10.30am the Mayor of St Ives will hurl the ball into the crowd of children waiting on the beach below. This is a very old custom, so old that no one knows when it originated. Continuing this quirky tradition pennies are then dropped to the younger children.
The person holding the silver ball returns it to the Mayor at midday and is rewarded with a silver crown. Following the return of the silver ball commemorative pennies are dropped from the Guildhall balcony by the Mayor, Deputy Mayor and Councillors of the St Ives Town Council to a waiting crowd of children.