Golowan is Cornish for ‘the feast of St John’ and so, on 23 June (St John’s Eve) it’s time to celebrate one of the most popular Penzance events. The festival centres around cheery bonfires, and it died out in the 19 century after the introduction of by-laws to discourage it. Happily, the event was revived in 1990 and is still going strong today!
The traditional festivities include a Serpent Dance, Mock Mayor Elections, as well as fireworks and a quayside fair. Penzance comes alive as residents display flags and banners throughout the town, and the nearest Friday to 23 June sees the visitors start to flock to the annual event.