©Jon Hanney

The Padstow Christmas Festival is Cornwall’s event of the season, this year taking place from 5th – 8th December. Now in its 6th year, the annual Christmas celebrations have grown so much in popularity – attracting 30,000 people in 2012 – that an extra day has been added to the event. The four day event is packed full of things to do for the whole family.

Padstow Christmas Lights Switch On

Ok, so technically taking place before the start of the festival, the Padstow Christmas lights will be lighting up the harbour on 1st December, but it marks the start of the festive season and is definitely a date for the diary.

The impressive display of lights will adorn the quay, buildings and even the water with floating displays of whales and fishing boats illuminating the picturesque harbour from 6pm right through until 6th January.

Parade of Lanterns

Made by local school children, the Padstow Christmas Festival sees the largest parade of lanterns in Cornwall take place at 6pm on Friday 6th, marking the arrival of Santa in his sleigh drawn by real reindeer all the way from the North Pole. Lanterns of all shapes and sizes, carried by the children who made them, will lead the parade around the harbour town and is a real highlight of the weekend.

Fireworks Display

Everyone loves fireworks, lighting up the winter nights sky. The annual harbour fireworks display will be taking place soon after the parade of lanterns at 8pm on Friday 6th from the north harbour wall. Make sure you get their early to get a good spot.

The Swamp Circus

Swamp Circus is England’s longest running, contemporary circus that can often be seen at events around Cornwall. Acrobats, dancers and entertainers will be amazing and delighting crowds over the course of the festival, with a special performance taking place in Market Square on Saturday 7th between 12-4pm and Sunday 8th on the Bandstand from 2pm.

Swamp Circus

28 World Class Chefs

Padstow has developed a reputation for being Cornwall’s culinary capital, home to some of the UK’s greatest chefs. It’s no surprise then that the biggest highlight of the Christmas Festival revolves around the food demonstrations taking place across two stages this year. Learn from some of the best-known names in the culinary world with the likes of Nathan Outlaw, Paul Ainsworth, Rick Stein (of course) and son Jack Stein, Masterchef 2008 winner James Nathan and Gidleigh Park’s Michael Caines, as well as a head-to-head challenge between chefs Brian Turner and Phil Vickery will make for a mouthwatering weekend.

100 Cornish Producers

Revered by Lonely Planet to be one of the most ‘delightfully different’ Christmas markets in Europe, the Padstow Christmas market is central to the celebrations, this year expanding in size. Hosting over 100 local Cornish producers of handmade gifts and artisan pieces, locally sourced foods and delicacies, Christmas shopping for the whole family is made easy.

300 Father Christmases

Padstow Santa Fun Run

©Jon Hanney

You read that right. A red and white sea of Santa Clauses will race through Padstow’s streets – one of 6 Santa Fun Runs taking place this year around Cornwall at Christmas, raising money for Cornwall Hospice Care. Last year the fun runs raised over £30,000 across 3 runs. This year, the Padstow Santa Fun Run will be taking place on Saturday 7th at 1pm. Find our how you can get involved here.

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