Bodmin Riding is an ancient Cornish festival which takes place annually in July.
The Bodmin Riding & Heritage Festival celebrates the unique history of Bodmin town and the rich traditions of the community’s Cornish heritage.
This ancient celebration, first recorded some 550 years ago, is unique to Bodmin. It was originally held to celebrate the restoration of the bones of St Petroc after they were stolen. The casket holding the saint’s bones (still surviving in St Petroc’s Church) was paraded through the town. The events included a mock court, sports, horse racing, a civic dinner, Riding Ale and the Riding Dance.
The celebration was revived for the modern day festival, which now features the quirky Hunting of the Beast of Bodmin.
The 2019 festival begins on Friday 5th July with the Feast of Bodmin, as the community gets together for food, drinks, music and storytelling. There will also be live music at Bodmin Folk Club.
The Saturday is the town’s big celebration, with live music and entertainment highlighting Bodmin’s rebellious spirit. Events will include musket firing and marching through the town, circus performances, a children’s dance procession, the procession of St Petroc’s bones, and a Cornish wrestling contest. Also during the day there will be song from Rebel Voices, a festival history trail to follow, storytelling and the Trial of the Beast.
The big hairy beast will be wandering around the festival causing havoc, as masked performers attempt to capture the beast (via various pubs) and bring him to justice. At 3.49pm the beast will be put on trial at Mount Folly. Will the beast be found guilty?
The Saturday evening will see more entertainment with the Beastly Ball and a performance of A Midsummer Night’s Dream.
The final day, Sunday, will see hands on activities, bike riding events, a Parkrun and a guided walk of the area.
When: 5th – 7th July 2019
Where: Bodmin, Cornwall
£: Admission prices vary depending on the event. Many events are free
More info: bodminrandh.wixsite.com