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VIDEO - Children dance through Penzance streets for St Piran

By CMScott  |  Posted: March 05, 2014

  • Bard Howard Curnow from St Hilary waves as St Erth School approach. Picture Scott Hamilton

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Penzance is still ringing to the sound of drums banged and horns blown as school children from across the area marched through the streets to celebrate St Piran’s Day.

Banners from all the local primaries schools were followed by pupils dancing and playing a vast array of instruments as they wound their way around town bringing traffic to a standstill.

But it was all smiles from motorists and shoppers and the joyous parade – with councillors, Cornish bards and dignitaries at the fore - lit up the town centre.

The parade started at St John’s Hall and moved down Causewayhead, to Market Jew Street as far as the post office, back up to Burton's, through Queen's Square and along Parade Street to Morrab Gardens.

Finally it proceeded up Morrab Road finishing at St John's Hall at about 11am.

The parade marks the saints day of the man who in the stories was washed up on a Cornish beach in the 6th century AD and introduced Christianity to Cornwall.

Legend has it that Irish kings, jealous of his influence with local people in his native land, had him bound to a millstone and hurled from a clifftop into the raging seas.

As he plummeted downwards, the storm abated, the sun came out and his millstone floated on the calm sea.

Cast-up on the beach at Perranporth, his first converts were a fox, a bear and a badger. He built a chapel in the sand dunes and the Cornish flocked to see him as news of his teachings spread.

Celebrations this year start in St Ives on Saturday, when the town's St Piran's Parade will take place at 2pm, starting at the Guildhall.

And yesterday there was a concert in St John's Hall with a choir of local primary school children, accompanied by the choir of Humphry Davy School.

Later today, other events continue.

A proper Cornish tea can be enjoyed in St Buryan village hall from 3.15pm.

This traditional celebration of St Piran's Day costs £4 per person and includes entertainment by children from St Buryan Academy School.

In Marazion, the St Piran's Day procession will leave the town hall at 5.45pm today to progress to the Gwelva for the ceremony.

On Thursday there will be a Cornish evening for St Piran's Day at St Peter's Church hall in Newlyn at 7.30pm. It will feature storytelling by Anna Murphy, Mike Sagar-Fenton, Stephen Hall, David Barron and Liz Harman plus music from the Boilerhouse Singers. Entry is £5 and includes refreshments.

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