Golowan is the re-kindling of the traditional midsummer celebrations which died out across Cornwall, and finally Penzance, in Victorian times. Back then, the flaming torches, burning tar barrels and bonfires were seen as too much of a fire hazard.
In 1991, and with the fire service having been invented, a local school decided it was time to bring back the celebrations. They must have tapped into some ancient enthusiasm for a good old party, and since then the festival of Golowan has gone from strength to strength.
These days, the festivities span a week, with music and workshops each day. There is a rowdy mock mayoral election, with the elected mayor later hosting a parade around town, featuring giant characters with a traditional midsummer theme.
Fun fairs, fireworks, a bustling market, parades, dancing, music, mermaids, an appearance by Penzance’s very own ‘Obby ‘Oss named Penglaz, and plenty of joyous high-spirits are what Golowan is all about. Come and experience this beautiful town and play your part in Cornwall’s rich history.