01 Aug St Agnes Carnival – Saturday 3rd August
By Mahala Smith
This Saturday 3rd August is Aggie Carnival, a huge day in the village calendar and something you can’t miss!
The carnival is a lively procession through the village with lots of inventive floats and local bands to keep you entertained. The fancy dress, group dances and people having a great time all ensures this old tradition is still a highlight of our summer.
The procession is led by the famous Giant Bolster! The legendary giant is a key part of carnival as he stomps through the village and scares young children – he may even put his hand on your head! And this is topped off by the fabulous Bolster drummers who parade alongside the giant so you can hear him coming from a long way away.
The floats set off at 5:30pm from a field at the top of the village. If you want to have a quick look at them before the procession starts, head on up and watch everyone prepare their crazy costumes (turn right, heading out of the village, at the roundabout by the Cornish Pizza Company).
Look out for performances from the SLOBS and the BEASTS, two rival local community groups who have historically fought it out for the title of best float (though the Tennis Club and Netball Club are usually fun too).
Where to stand and watch as the procession goes by? In my opinion, the best places to watch are the spots where bigger groups stop and perform a dance of some sort – these are often busier areas near village pubs, particularly the Railway Inn and The St Agnes Hotel.
It can get crowded, though, so for a quieter evening and a nice spot with some space and somewhere to sit, there will be families watching on the road out towards the Sports Club (the route now turns left at the bakery instead of going down the hill to Peterville and the Taphouse).
Some tips from a local:
Bring along some spare change as there are always collection pots and charity boxes, and at the end you can throw leftover coins into a moving truck.
Look out for floats offering free sweets, which is always great fun for the kids! But do make sure young children stay off the road and away from moving vehicles.
Also, be aware that the village will be very crowded, and you may struggle to park or get a spot if you don’t get in early. Bring along snacks for the kids – there are sometimes gaps between floats.
After carnival, pubs and restaurants will be busy so book a table in advance if you can. Or grab some fish and chips from our local chippy Fission in the square – there may be a big queue but it’s worth the wait!
Finally, don’t forget the annual treasure hunt that’s taking place on Monday. Follow diabolically difficult clues on a long walk around the village and have the chance of winning prizes! It’s great fun and all the family can get involved.