The Bolster Pageant is a curious annual event which takes place in St Agnes, with a lantern procession, bonfire, street theatre and pageant.
The event is based around the legend of a tyrannical giant, and takes place on Saturday 4th and Sunday 5th May in Cornish village.
The festivities will kick off on Saturday with the lantern procession. Prior to the event, local children make lanterns and clay houses at workshops. The clay houses represent the village and are used in the procession along with the lanterns. The procession begins in the centre of the village and makes its way to The Beacon (the most prominent feature of the area’s coastline).
At about 8.30pm at The Beacon, a fire is lit and used to fire the clay houses that the children made in the workshops. After the procession, the villagers venture to the local pubs to carry on the festival spirit.
The events on the Sunday are perhaps the main spectacle of the weekend, as the mythical ‘Giant Bolster’ enters the proceedings. According to the legend, the giant fell in love with the virtuous St Agnes, who after being constantly harassed by his unwanted affections, hatched a plan to get rid of him.
Sunday’s Bolster Pageant, based around this myth, begins with some entertaining street theatre in the village as The Mayor, the brave Knight Sir Constantine and Mrs Bolster (the giant’s wife), parade around the local streets and hostelries.
The trio can be seen in the village, beginning at the Railway Inn from 12.30pm, to gather support for defeating the Giant. Visitors should look out for these unusual characters, along with some local drummers.
Then, at 4pm, dancers, drummers and the life-sized puppets gather for the pageant at Chapel Porth beach; here they recreate the battle to get rid of the Giant. During the theatrical re-enactment, children scream, the Knight’s horse rears its head and battle commences. The pageant, complete with the giant and theatrics is a sight not to be missed!
When: 4th – 5th May 2018
Where: St Agnes, Cornwall
More info: bolsterfestival.wordpress.com