As the first flags go up this Sunday, the people of Helston look forward to Flora Day with tremendous enthusiasm for the ancient Festival

FLORA DAY Saturday May 6th 2017

As the first flags go up in the streets of Helston this Sunday, the people of Helston look forward to Flora Day with the usual tremendous enthusiasm and support for the ancient Festival.

As it will take place again on a Saturday this year, the Flora Day Association anticipate a large crowd to visit Helston and enjoy the unique event. flora day.jpg

Nick Wills, Honorary Secretary of the the Association, “We welcome you to Helston to enjoy our unique and ever popular spring festival on Saturday May 6th”

Flora Day is always on May 8th – except if that falls on a Sunday (for obvious reasons) or a Monday, which was the traditional market day of Helston. When this happens, Flora Day is held on the previous Saturday.

A favourite part of Flora for many is the Hal an Tow – which some suggest is the oldest part of the ancient festival. This Friday there is a special event in Helston looking at the history of the Hal an Tow and collecting memories of those who have participated.

A special Hal an Tow exhibition at the renowned Helston Folk Museum starts this Friday 21st and an evening looking at the history and meaning of the song. Merv Davey, Grand Bard of the Cornish Gorsedh and leading Cornish music historian will be there to lead the discussion. A team of volunteers will be on hand at CAST, Penrose Road to collect your memories. For more info follow this link : Hal an Tow

 

For the big day, Mr Wills says there are one or two minor changes that people should look out for

The Stewards have decided to continue with the variation for the Children’s Dance at Lismore. Mr. M. Jay has agreed that the dancers may enter the property by the small gate in Cross Street and then proceed immediately around to the driveway of the house, to exit onto Cross Street again without going into the Gardens.

At the start of the Children’s dance, the second band will stand and play at the junction of Wendron Street and Meneage Street by Lloyds Bank. Spectators are requested to please leave space for them”

 

The second band will remain outside the Monument and follow the dancers up Coinagehall Street.

Access to the Lismore gardens will be available to spectators for the Midday Dance after the Children’s dance has passed and later in the day for the Evening Dance.

Mr Wills said “Entry into Properties and Gardens on the route of the Dances is a great privilege to us and we would remind the public that it is by courtesy of the owners who retain the right to close their gates/doors if they so wish. We ask you to respect their properties”

As ever, the Stewards are delighted that the Helston Town Band will be in attendance, playing the tune as only they are able.  The cost of buying instruments and supporting our Band is ever increasing “We would ask the public to support the band by giving generously to the collectors who will be following the dances”.

The route of the Midday dance will be largely as last year, commencing at the Guildhall and proceeding on the road into Meneage Street. The Midday Dance will enter Lismore Gardens as usual. However they will be unable to enter the Old Vicarage this year due to continued renovations to the garden and so the dance will proceed after Penhellis Gardens via Tanyard Lane into Leslie House Gardens.

The Council have requested that property owners take down any greenery from their buildings before 8.30 a.m. on May 7th so that the collection teams can remove it from the streets. Any greenery left out after that time may not be collected.

There are road closures and parking restrictions in force on Flora Day from 6.30 a.m. These take effect from early in the morning and FDA request that cars are not parked in the streets overnight on the 5th May as they may cause an obstruction early in the morning of Flora Day.

Mr Wills “As with any event of this size, there is a considerable financial commitment to cover the cost of Health and Safety issues, insurances and for example purchasing of new flags. If you are able to help us by contributing to our funds to maintain our unique event, please contact us by email on helstonfloraday@yahoo.co.uk “

If you can’t wait for May 6th remember the Helston Town Band ‘practices’ around the town on the evening of May 1st. There is also time to sign up for the Hal an Tow with a rehearsal scheduled for the same evening.

 

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