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The Festive Season in Penzance

The charming harbour-side town of Penzance in south west Cornwall is brimming with an array of festive delights this Christmas - from markets to lantern parades, the famouse Mousehole lights just a short drive along the coast and many more festive treats!


Penzance Christmas lights switch on

This year, Penzance will be illuminated with festive sparkle as we go to town with the theme ‘Christmas Bells’. Landmarks like Market House and St Mary’s Church will join local shops and businesses as they light up for the season. 

The official Christmas lights switch-on takes place at 4.30pm on 25th November, with a festive market, music and entertainment adding to the atmosphere. The festive market will run from 10am until 5.30pm with a variety of stalls from Arts and Crafts to Food. Market Jew Street will also host a Youth Market from Pop Up Penzance with stalls showcasing a range of Cornwall’s best arts & crafts and food. Visitors can get into the festive spirit at the Christmas grotto or with musical performances put on throughout the day before the annual light-switch on! Watch as the town becomes illuminated with colour and festive cheer!

Newlyn Christmas lights switch on

On the 14th December, The Newlyn Harbour lights switch on will take place, featuring a grand firework display over the harbour, carol singers, stalls and refreshments, as well as a visit from Father Christmas.

Christmas. Time! at the Acorn Theatre

At Penzance’s very own Acorn Theatre, Christmas. Time! – a fun, festive and fantastically funny performance, will be put on by Near—Ta Theatre on the 14th December at 7.30pm, adventuring through Dickens, Christmas dinner, Christmas films and music, ideal for the whole family.

Mousehole Christmas lights switch on

The famous Christmas lights of Mousehole will be switched on on the 15th December, with a spectacular open-air carol service at the North Quay opening the event, with performances from Mousehole Male Voice Choir, Mousehole Methodist Church and Pendeen Silver Band. Mince pies, mulled wine and toasted nuts will be available whilst touring the village and the local shops will stay open late, giving those the opportunity to get some last minute Christmas shopping done.

Humphry Davy Lantern Parade

In celebration of the birth of Penzance-born Sir Humphry Davy, famous scientist best known for his invention of the miner’s safety, or “Davy”, lamp, a festive lantern procession will proceed throughout Penzance’s streets on 16th December. Starting at Causeway Head, the procession will continue to Market Street, whereby Sir Humphry’s statue will be lit up in remembrance, and then will continue onto Chapel Street, culminating at The Methodist Chapel where mince pies and drinks will be provided.

Montol Festival

The Montol Festival in Penzance is a six-day affair celebrating the winter solstice, with lantern and mask-making workshops, carol services, storytelling, Mummers’ plays, and a ceilidh to be enjoyed throughout the week. The festival culminates on Montol Eve on 21st December where people are encouraged to dress in disguise and mock formal costumes. Follow Cornish tradition as the Yule Log, traditionally made from ash wood, is set alight, a stick figure is chalked on it, symbolising the passing of the old year and the welcoming of the new, and then thrown onto the fire.


A Christmas Carol at the Acorn Theatre

David Mynne stars in Kneehigh Theatre’s performance of Charles Dickens’ timeless A Christmas Carol at the Acorn Theatre on 22nd December at 7.30pm. Although plenty of bah-humbugs will be in store, this performance will get even the Scrooge’s amongst us all into the festive spirit.


Tom Bawcock’s Eve

On the 23rd December, locals gather in the fishing village of Mousehole to remember beloved fisherman Tom Bawcock who famously set out in his fishing boat to bring food back for the Mousehole community. The tale has been orally passed down for years, but was brought to life in Antonia Barber’s The Mousehole Cat. The Eve will include a lantern parade throughout the village, musical performances and helpings of Stargazey pie, with the Mousehole Cat and Stargazey pie Christmas lights hanging just behind on the harbour’s walls.