Want to find out about St Ives events in 2023? We’ve got plenty of dates for your diary.
Whether you want to listen to some local live music in St Ives, awaken the tastebuds with a food festival, or simply fill your time in this coastal town with some cultural events, while Cornwall may be known as a somewhat sleepy county, there’s plenty to see and do in St Ives with music events, festivals and Cornish celebrations taking place all-year round.
Monday 6 February
One of the oldest traditions, St Ives Feast Day is held on the first Monday after the 3 February each year (this year, taking place on Monday 6 February). It is held to celebrate the consecration of the Parish Church of St Eia in 1434 AD. With a mayoral procession through St Ives town, led by the Mayoress and church leaders, dressed in their finery and garlanded with ivy, you’ll hear traditional Cornish music and witness the hurling of a silver ball; one of Cornwall’s most ancient traditions, dating back over a thousand years. The game, also known as Cornish Hurling, a centuries’ old form of rugby where children make a mad dash to grab the ball!
Sunday 5 March
Named after one of the patron saints of Cornwall, yes you guessed it…Saint Piran, who is also the patron saint of tin miners, St Piran’s Day is the national day of Cornwall held on 5 March every year. St Piran’s Day in St Ives celebrates all things Cornish every day, whether that’s tucking in to a traditional Cornish pasty (we recommend St Ives Bakery) or filling the lungs with a stomp along one of St Ives beaches. Join in the mass rendition of the unofficial Cornish anthem ‘Trelawny’ on St Piran’s Day at St Ives micro brewery The Pilchard Press Alehouse at 9pm.
Monday 1 May
May Day – Monday 1 May – marks the beginning of summer, around halfway between the spring equinox and summer solstice, and what better place to celebrate than St Ives? And this annual event is celebrated heavily here.
Starting at midday, you’ll see the choosing of the May queen and king, the blowing of the ‘May Horns’, Cornish dancing, a procession to the harbour, and local children dressed in red performing a traditional maypole dance.
St Ives Food and Drinks Festival
There’s more delicious local fare up for grabs at St Ives Food and Drinks Festival in 2023, which will take place on Porthminster Beach between 12-14 May. Free to attend during the day, this St Ives event celebrates artisan food and drinks vendors, pop-up art galleries, and a chef’s demo stage.
During the evening The Lighthouse Stage will see new and exciting artists take to the stage, and tickets are required for the live music events at St Ives Food and Drink Festival.
Thursday 10 August
The RNLI charity saves lives at sea, so it’s a charity close to many Cornish hearts. The RNLI will be hosting its annual St Ives Lifeboat Day on 10 August 2023, where crowds descend on the harbour for a fun-filled day, to help raise funds and awareness.
August in St Ives is always a time full of cheer, but this family-friendly St Ives event isn’t to be missed as visitors will see the lifeboat in action and a helicopter rescue exercise, alongside an opportunity to meet the crew, browse the stalls, enter the raffle and more.
As the summer season draws to a close, St Ives September Festival 2023 (9-23 September) keeps the flame burning with a two-week celebration of music and the arts. An area known for its creativity, St Ives September Festival is one of the leading cultural festivals in the UK, covering music, art and poetry events, exhibitions, galleries, guided walks and open artist studios.
If live music in St Ives is what you’re after, then look no further than St Ives Shanty Shout. With a date yet to be confirmed for 2023, but likely to be taking place in November, this sea shanty live musical festival sees a selection of local talent take to the stage in hotels, pubs and cafés across St Ives. Enjoy a local tipple and a good ol’ fashioned sing song to sea shanties and Cornish folk songs!
We have curated a collection of our favourite luxury self-catering holiday cottages in the artist town of St Ives, known for its harbour, shops and food scene. Browse our accommodation to book your perfect stay.