When: 25th May – 3rd June 2018
Where: On and around the Fal River in Cornwall
£: Ticket prices vary, depending on the event. Some events are free
What is it?
Fal River Festival, which will take place from Friday 25th May to Sunday 3rd June, promises ten days of diverse events celebrating the area’s cultural and natural riches.
Quirky events at this year’s festival will include gin cruises, a hidden cinema, films on ferries, floating assault courses, and a flotilla of boats, known as the Beer Fleet, escorting the festival ale down the river.
The festival will be launched with the annual Beer Fleet on Friday 25th May. A flotilla of boats packed with festival-goers will make their grand entrance into Falmouth’s Custom House Quay, followed by an opening ceremony at Events Square. The evening will feature street food, craft ales and free live music, with I Love Amp getting the party into full swing at 8.30pm.
The rest of the festival promises to be packed with popular longstanding events, alongside a range of exciting new ones, including a mix of festivities suitable for all ages to enjoy, in and around the river.
This year’s highlights will include Cornwall’s first ever Gin Cruises, setting sail on Friday 1st and Saturday 2nd June. Gin-loving seafarers will enjoy a two-hour journey along the river, aboard a classic wooden ferry, whilst sampling a selection of Cornish G&Ts exclusively designed for the festival.
Falmouth Art Gallery will be offering family fun with sea-themed creative workshops during the festival, including printmaking, painting and collage. There’ll also be a feast of creative pop-up events taking place across the river in Flushing.
Trebah Garden will be hosting a vibrant programme of theatre, from Pirates to Dickens, in their sub-tropical amphitheatre. Another theatrical contribution will come from The Story Republicans, who will present An Evening of Stories, Song and Poetry, inspired by Cornish writers, on Thursday 31st May at the Tresanton Chapel in St Mawes.
Alongside theatre and arts events, there will be plenty of opportunities to get outdoors and explore. This year the festival will welcome back Cornwall Fishing Adventures, who will be offering a taste of sea fishing with a free have-a-go session on Monday 28th May at The Greenbank Hotel Quay. There will be a whole host of guided walks on offer, taking in spectacular scenery, as well as some of Cornwall’s most beautiful boat trips. There’ll also be the opportunity to get confident identifying, harvesting and cooking some of the area’s wild edibles on foraging walks, which will be taking place along the banks of the Helford, at Pendower beach and in St Just In Roseland.
Cornwall’s first Parkour and Freerunning Gym, based in Penryn Control Movement, will be taking part in the celebrations this year, offering free have-a-go sessions with the experts on both Sundays during the festival. Adrenaline Junkies can also sign up for the Fal River Wipeout; a race around the slippery floating assault course at Kernow Adventure Park.
Head to St Mawes on Bank Holiday Monday for the annual favourite, Jazz on the Quay, taking place from 3pm to 5.15pm and raising funds for Children’s Hospice South West. The jazz theme will continue at St Mawes Hotels’ Hidden Cinema later that evening, as they host a special screening of the multi-award winning La La Land.
Film on the Ferry will also return to the King Harry Ferry on Tuesday 29th May and Thursday 31st May. This year, the floating open air cinema will be screening Oscar award-winning war film Dunkirk and the classic tale of survival, Cast Away.