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Events and festivals in St Ives 2024

Whether it’s shopping, beach days, or just strolling along the harbour with a wonderfully large ice cream in hand, there’s little doubt as to why St Ives is a favourite destination for many. But it’s not just about the everyday in this charming town.

A boat with wish you were here on in St Ives with the harbour behind

Throughout the year, bustling foodie festivals and fist-pumping music events turn St Ives into a hub for memorable moments. Here’s what’s coming up in St Ives so you can make 2024 your best trip to Cornwall yet.

St Ives Feast Day and Hurling the Silver Ball

The Mayor of St Ives just before Hurling the Silver Ball on Feast Day

Best for: Cornish traditions

St Ives Guildhall
5th February 2024

Held every year on the first Monday after the 3rd of February, St Ives Feast Day and Hurling the Silver Ball is one of Cornwall’s oldest traditions. The day celebrates the consecration of the Parish Church of St Eia in 1434 and involves a centuries’ old version of rugby, Hurling the Silver Ball.

When you visit St Ives around this day, you’ll be privy to a fantastic procession of musicians and school children as they make their way through the town’s iconic cobbled streets, covered in ivy in remembrance of St Eia, the patron saint of St Ives.

The procession is usually around 9.30am, while the hurling of the silver ball takes place at 10.30am on Porthmeor Beach.

Whether you’re a local or visitor, it’s so easy to get swept up in this ancient celebration, especially when the Cornish chants begin. Oggy Oggy Oggy! Oi Oi Oi!

St Ives Lifeboat Golf Day

Looking across the golf course with the sea in the background at West Cornwall Golf Club

Best for: Tee with a view

West Cornwall Golf Course
3rd May 2024

In celebration of the RNLI’s 200th anniversary, West Cornwall Golf Course is hosting a day of golfing fun overlooking the beautiful St Ives bay. 

Teams of four are invited to come along and take part in the competition, with teas and coffees and a bacon roll (and an RNLI goodie bag!) included in the ticket price. 

A raffle and RNLI stall will be there on the day to add even more fun to the proceedings, with proceeds going towards the St Ives lifeboat - this is a great day out for an even greater cause.

St Ives May Day

People dancing around in traditional Cornish dress for May Day in St Ives

Best for: Welcoming spring

St Ives Harbour & Guildhall
6th May 2024

If there’s one celebration Cornish folk cherish above all, it’s the end of winter and the start of spring and you won’t find many celebrations that beat May Day in St Ives.

Cheer as the May Queen and King are selected at the pee whip, watch as horn blowers hark the arrival of spring as May sticks whack in the background, and get caught up in the excitement of the parade that leads you to the harbour where traditional Cornish dancing and music takes place. A host of stalls and pop-up foodie delights will keep you entertained, while visits to the local pubs keep you as merry as the town crier.

Even if you can’t make it to the celebrations themselves, you can check out the festivities online thanks to our perfectly placed webcam on the harbour front.

St Ives Food and Drink Festival  

A man and woman doing a cookery demonstration

Best for: A foodie feast

Porthminster Beach
Back in 2025

Taking a well-earned break in 2024, St Ives Food Festival will be returning to Porthminster Beach in 2025.

Food, glorious food – there really is nothing quite like it! Especially at St Ives’ annual culinary celebration that brings people, vendors, and food producers from all over to applaud the wondrous thing that is food. Stretching over three days on the iconic Porthminster Beach in St Ives, this foodie festival is a must for your 2025 calendar.

The days are spent feasting as you stroll around the marquees and stalls trying incredible varieties of food and watching mouth-watering demos by the greats. Sip on your locally-brewed ale as you nibble on freshly prepared seafood or loaded fries, eyes always on the lookout for the next course. As you stumble, belly full and content, into the evening, you’ll be met with live music, entertainment, and fireworks that really round off the weekend as one to remember.

It’s a great one for families, friends, or anyone who shows their love through the sharing (or not sharing) of food. So, come and feast your eyes and stomach on an enviable array of food and drink, from local gin to the juiciest burgers.

St Ives Lifeboat Day

St Ives harbour on Lifeboat Day with the lifeboat pulled up the slipway and smaller lifeboats in the harbour

Best for: Celebrating the RNLI

St Ives Harbour
15th August 2024

Every year, the people of St Ives get together to celebrate and raise money for the RNLI and its amazing volunteers who save lives at sea, and this year is extra special as it’s the 200th anniversary of the RNLI.

During the day, you’ll be able to see the lifeboat in action while tucking into some delicious food from the stalls and browsing the goodies for sale. You’ll also be able to look around the station, meet the team, and try on some of the equipment so you can get a sense of what it’s like to volunteer.

If you fancy taking to the seas in an actual lifeboat, one of the many boat trips in St Ives offers you the chance to do just this - sign us up!

St Ives September Festival

A band performing on the harbour front in St Ives during the St Ives September Festival

Best for: Local culture

Various locations around St Ives
14th - 28th September 2024

Starting life in a kitchen in 1977, this two-week celebration of all things culture has become one of the best and brightest festivals in the country and it takes place right here in the pretty town of St Ives.

You’ll be forgiven for thinking that the summer ends as August does, but in St Ives, it’s only just beginning as the September Festival extends the season by two jam-packed weeks. Whether your interests lie in music, film, art, spoken word, comedy, or a mix of them all, this creative melting pot is perfect for those who want to be enlightened, engaged, and entertained all at once.

Explore and really get into the details of St Ives’ important cultural history or learn about a completely new medium at one of the many talks or demonstrations, from pottery to poetry.

Daily performances dotted around the seaside town ensure you’re always entertained, while the local pubs join in the fray and offer a place to relax with a pint of local ale while you contemplate what you want to do next.

Events, performers and participants are added all the time, so make sure to keep an eye on their social media to find out what the line-up will include in 2024’s St Ives September Festival.

St Ives Shanty Shout

Someone dressed up as Betty Stogs lying on the stage in front of a group of singers at the St Ives Shanty Shout

Best for: Pints and pipes

Various venues around St Ives
22nd - 23rd November 2024

If you’ve never seen a group of Cornishmen singing shanties with an ale in hand then you’ve never experienced the best form of entertainment Cornwall has to offer. Luckily, the St Ives Shanty Shout is here to rectify this with their annual festival that celebrates all things shanty!

Organised by seasoned wailers the Bamaluz Bootleggers, the St Ives Shanty Shout can be enjoyed by landlubbers and sailors alike, as once the singing starts, it’s impossible not to get swept up in the cheerful atmosphere. So, clear your throat, pour your pint, and let’s get this show started… All together now!

Christmas in St Ives

Santa waving to the crowd with RNLI volunteers

Best for: A winter wonderland


There’s something extra special about St Ives at Christmas as the lights, markets, and visits from the man in red himself create an almost month-long winter wonderland.

The Christmas lights in St Ives are always on nice and early so you can really make the most of their festive cheer. It also means that when Santa visits (usually around the middle of the month), not by sleigh but by boat, the town is already lit up and feeling like a town-wide Santa’s grotto.

Later in the month, Christmas markets appear laden with local crafts, tasty tipples, and some seriously tempting food vans with their warming wares. These markets are a great place for a spot of gift shopping or you can wander through with a cup of mulled wine in hand, soaking up the Christmas spirit.

If you’re in St Ives for Christmas, then get yourself down to Porthminster Beach on Boxing Day for the annual festive swim! Join the hundreds of equally mad people as they don their swimming costumes, wetsuits, and even fancy dress for a totally refreshing dip.

New Year’s Eve in St Ives

Fireworks over St Ives in the dark with reflections on the water

Best for: Fancy dress

31 December 2024

Did you know that St Ives is famous for the third biggest and best costumed New Year’s Eve celebrations in the UK? With fancy dress galore and fireworks doubled in magic by their squiggly reflections in the harbour, it’s easy to see why.

Most of the restaurants and pubs throughout the town join in, either by throwing their own memorable events (booking is a must on New Year’s Eve) or by simply encouraging grand costumes. Seriously, you don’t want to be the only one not rocking up in fancy dress in St Ives.

There’s usually some live music going on somewhere in town, with the St Ives Guildhall putting on a cracking shindig every year, so keep an eye out to see what’s in store for New Year’s Eve in 2024.

Finish off your evening by ringing in the new year with a spectacular fireworks show that lights up the sky and water. It’s the only way to kick off 2025 with a bang!

Honourable mentions

St Ives Farmers’ Market

A selection of Cornish Sea Salt and gifts at St Ives Farmers Market

Best for: Local goodies

St Ives Guildhall
Mondays, 9.30am-2pm

From delicious homemade curries complete with samosas to fresh, local produce that’s travelled less than 10 miles from field to table, the weekly farmers’ market in St Ives is the best place for stocking up on your holiday foodie essentials.

Pick up a fresh cup of coffee and cake while chatting to the friendly vendors and discover why buying local is best - it’s dog-friendly, too!

Tate St Ives

A birds eye view of Tate St Ives and Porthmeor beach

Best for: Family-friendly activities

Porthmeor Beach
Throughout the year

With exhibitions running throughout the year and family-friendly activities and workshops inviting the little ones to get involved in the visit, Tate St Ives always has something going on inside its modern walls. Keep an eye on their ‘What’s on’ section to see the upcoming exhibitions and events so you can perfectly time your visit to Cornwall’s renowned art gallery

You can also check out the Barbara Hepworth Museum and Sculpture Garden where you can explore the life and works of acclaimed artist Barbara Hepworth. Located in her Trewyn studio, which was given to the Tate in 1980, this is a must-visit attraction for anyone interested in the artwork that has come out of St Ives.

Looking forward to making the most of St Ives? Book your holiday cottage in St Ives now and start building your perfect itinerary.

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