The tenth annual Falmouth University Fal River Festival kicks off later this month and organisers are urging everyone to get involved, promising something for all ages and tastes in the varied programme of activities and events.
The festival celebrates the cultural and natural riches of the area; running for ten days the programme includes an exhilarating mixture of arts, entertainment and outdoor adventure which sees the Fal River and its creeks, inlets, riverbanks, villages and towns come alive with activity.
For children, the National Maritime Museum in Falmouth has an exciting programme lined up, including a lighthouse-themed weekend and daily make-and-take activities, while Falmouth Art Gallery is running river-themed cartoon workshops with Nick Brennan of The Beano.
Children of all ages will also be enthralled by Down by the River from Swamp Circus; as well as an audacious performance, the troop are offering workshops at Trelissick National Trust Gardens which feature face painting, a magic sculpture garden, willow crafts and circus skills.
For adventure-lovers, ten days of energetic festival experiences include Navigate – a journey which circumnavigates Falmouth Harbour, canoeing at Trelissick, archery lessons, the RNLI Castle to Castle swim and Woodland Wild with Camp Kernow – a day of fun survival activities at an off-grid environmental adventure camp.
At a more sedate pace, walkers can enjoy historical insights with a Now and Then Walking Tour of Truro, or discover the bounty of the riverbank with forager Rachel Lambert.
Meanwhile arts enthusiasts will be spoilt for choice, with a myriad of exhibitions and open studios revealing the rich seam of creativity which runs along the course of the Fal River.
Storytellers will be popping up in Falmouth town centre with Cornish and English folktales, while development-threatened Glasney Valley will host a Story Walk featuring performance, dance and music.
The soundtrack of the festival will be made up of an eclectic mix of jazz (provided by the popular Jazz on the Quay event at St Mawes), blues (The Falmouth Blues Festival takes place over two days) and Uncommon Orchestra performances from Mike Westbrook’s Big Band.
Music also plays a major part in the opening celebration on Friday, May 22 at Events Square, with Cornish dance band Splann leading a traditional ceilidh, followed by Falmouth Soul Sensation – a popular group of local musicians who will perform a blend of classic and modern soul.
If all that leaves you in need of nourishment head to the Fal River Market which celebrates local produce, or join Glen Crosby from the Great British Bake Off for a culinary treat for all the family in The Great Cornish Cake Off – a competition to find Cornwall’s best amateur baker.