Plans laid out for huge St Piran’s event in Redruth
Redruth is to hold another mammoth festival to celebrate St Piran’s Day next year. The 2011 event, which took place on 5th March, attracted over 2000 people to market stalls, exhibitions, musical performances, steam engines and many other attractions. Organisers say that 2012 will be even bigger, and will take the undisputed title of “The Biggest St Piran’s Celebration in Cornwall”. Saturday 3rd March has been earmarked as the day to look forward to, and many of this year’s attractions are expected to return alongside new additions
The organisers, which include Mike Chappell of the Celtic League, Redruth Rugby Club, Redruth Town Council, Redruth Chamber of Commerce and the newly formed Redruth Radio, say that festival-goers can also look forward to a procession, fireworks on the rugby field, fancy-dress, and many other activities, especially in the town centre. Redruth Rugby's fixture list for next season will not be confirmed by the Rugby Football Union until late May; if they are at home there will be some spectacular action (though this year's match will take some beating). If they are away the club will stage a special St Piran's exhibition match. The firewalk, which this year raised over £2000, is back on the cards for 2012 and organisers say they hope to see a long line of people queuing up to follow in the footsteps of blind 87 year old Bobby Bownas who impressed the crowds at this year’s event. The possibility of extending family entertainment throughout the evening will be explored, alongside the successful live music events in pubs and bars across the town.
The event this year sparked international interest; one participant was even interviewed on Irish TV. It is thought that the huge celebrations might also have further influence, as the announcement to stage the second St Piran festival next year comes as Cornwall Council attempt to convince central government to make St Piran’s Day a bank holiday. Alongside the Cornwall-wide St Piran’s Pub Packs project, coordinated by Ben Read – also a working group member for Redruth’s St Piran’s Festival – the celebrations could give weight to the bank holiday proposal.
Town Development Manager, Lee Dunkley, said “We were overwhelmed by the community participation in the St Piran’s Day festivities this year, which was the first such attempt in Redruth’s recent history. The town is building on this, grounding the pride and passion of ‘Cornishness’ in to the fabric of this historic and cultural town. The 2012 festival should prove to be even bigger and better, with even more input from the local community; this is why we are holding a public meeting (date to be confirmed, likely June) to invite residents to share their ideas and to become members of the working group.”
Redruth Rugby’s General Manager, Gerry Reilly, commented “We were delighted to be at the centre of this year’s St Piran’s Celebrations and we are eagerly anticipating being involved again next year. This year saw the entire Redruth Community come together along with many visitors to the Town. We hope that even more will swell the numbers next year and we look forward to welcoming them to the Recreation Ground.”
George Saint, Secretary of Redruth & District Chamber of Commerce, added “The Redruth Chamber fully supports next year’s 'St Piran’s Festival', which brings people from far and wide into our historic town.
This year we had visitors from far and wide; Penzance in the West and Dorset in the East, coming to enjoy not only the festivities, which were numerous, but also the friendly atmosphere of Redruth and the local traders. Next year will be bigger and better. So we as the supporters of local commerce all say 'bring it on'.”
The Redruth St Piran’s Festival 2012
Saturday 3rd March 2012
*Cornish & English Music and dance all day
*Live evening entertainment
*Black and White theme
Join in with “The Biggest St Piran’s Celebrations in Cornwall”: Redruth Town Centre and Redruth Rugby Football Club
Mayor of Redruth, Ian Thomas, who addressed crowds in Cornish and English at the 2011 event, said “We had a fantastic St Piran’s Festival 2011 with, literally thousands of people in the Town Centre and at the Rugby Ground – no one was more proud than I to be part of the day’s celebrations. The local community and people from much further afield came along to support us – we had a contingent from Wales. Of course, this festival, as we had hoped, was the first of an annual celebration of St Piran linked very closely to the county-wide intentions of others”.
Councillor Thomas added “2011 turned out to be an incredibly sound foundation to build 2012’s festival on. We learnt a lot from our experience, but mainly there were two things that stick in my mind. Firstly, that there is a great desire, no, demand, to continue such celebrations - you simply wouldn’t believe the number of people, near and far, who have asked us to ‘keep up the good work’. Secondly, we witnessed true civic pride through the expressions of enjoyment and enthusiasm and we displayed a strong belief and spirit in our town. The challenge for all of us now is to make our next festival bigger and better, but one thing we can be sure of is that we expect more and more participants and visitors to come to Redruth 2012.”
Mike Chappell of the Celtic League and one of the founder members of the celebration said' "It is my pleasure to serve Redruth and indeed our little Country of Cornwall as Saint Piran and I hope to do the same next year. This celebration marks Cornwall's distinctiveness as a Celtic Nation and not a part of England.'
For more information about The Redruth St Piran’s Festival 2012 you can contact the Town Development Manager, Lee Dunkley, on 01209 210038 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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