The streets of Callington will come alive with music, sound and colour when the town stages its first MayFest in three years.

Roads will be closed through the centre of town for the procession on Saturday, May 14, featuring music, dancing and giants crafted by schools, church and community groups.

There will be a full programme of entertainment, with local musicians performing on three stages in the town centre. The action will kick off on the Friday evening, when local folk musicians Mike O’Connor and Barbara Griggs will perform music inspired by Cornish legends and folk tales. This will be followed with a full day of entertainment on the Saturday.

MayFest director Pete Watson said: ‘This is the first time we have held MayFest in three years. The day starts on the Saturday at 10am with a craft fair that runs all the way through the day. We have also got three music stages with various genres, starting with the town band in the morning.

‘The procession will set off at 12.15pm approximately from the Saltash Road car park. It will feature giants made by local church groups, schools and community groups and then we have the MayFest group of musicians, who have come together over the last five weeks to learn their pieces. We also have the MayFest singers, who have been practising, as well as the Callington Singers and the Callington Gospel Choir.

‘The giants were created under the guidance of a chap called Mark Gregory. He visits the community groups and he helps them with the giants they would like to make.’

Pete added: ‘The giants are made on a metal frame with withies that are then covered in fabric, but we don’t know what they are going to be before the day. It is a bit of a surprise.’

He added that MayFest was quite a big event.

‘There are about 250 performers who participate in MayFest and for the procession we have a team of 30 marshals and stewards – the Lions, the Rotary – who help us out with the marshalling,’ he said.

‘So there are a lot of people doing a lot of things on the day.’

Everyone is being asked to gather ready to set off in the procession at 12.15am from the Saltash Road car park. Everyone will then make their way up through New Road into Fore Street, where dancers will perform their traditional Serpent Dance.

Pete continued: ‘In the afternoon, the music starts off with eclectic music and folk and then we have a local group who are well-known, Morzim, who are a bit louder. Then we will finish the afternoon with the Cornish Groove Collective, who are a 17-piece band. They will be on the main stage in Fore Street and we also have further entertainment on a stage just past the town hall, in the Spar loading bay.’

He added that there would be entertainment and shows tailored for children in the town hall during the afternoon.

‘We are also having concerts in St Mary’s Church, because the acoustics are good.’

Town crier Tony Stentiford will be opening the day with a traditional town cry from a stage in the square outside The Bulls Head. This will be followed by a town criers’ competition in the town hall, to be judged by mayor and portreeve Mike Tagg. Tony said: ‘It is a day of music, dance, merriment and mirth. I think everyone wants to come back out [after covid] and take this few cautious steps into the sunlight again and actually do something.

‘I think this will be a really really good MayFest because everyone needs to be out and being part of something. And Callington is a great town, I wouldn’t live anywhere else.’

Musician and artist Rosie Fierek is leading the community musicians, with whom she has been rehearsing over five weeks. They are performing music inspired by May Day and its Cornish customs. The full programme can be found at: