Crowds flock to opening weekend of Festival

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From 6 June 2012

A beer fleet, a performance showcase, a fish festival, a tower abseil and a castle to castle swim...what a weekend!

Organisers are hailing the opening weekend a success after crowds flocked to the 2012 Truro and Penwith College Fal River Festival.

Despite the mixed Diamond Jubilee Bank Holiday weekend weather around 25,000 people turned out to enjoy the activities on offer including the two-day Fal Fish Festival.

The 10 day festival, which celebrates life on and around the Fal River, runs until Sunday, June 10 and features over 150 events covering music, theatre, art, food, drink, sport and water.

Festival director, Toby Budd, said: 'Once again the opening weekend has proved to be a great draw and has created a real buzz around the Fal River.

'Falmouth has been absolutely packed over the weekend and it was brilliant to see so many people getting involved.

'We know around 18,000 people visited the Fal Fish Festival over the weekend, and it was great that visitors from the cruise ship also got to see Falmouth at its best.'

Jubilee inspiration

The festival unofficially kicked off on Thursday (May, 31) with Finley Quaye’s first performance in Cornwall in Events Square.

The gig was followed on Friday (June, 1) by the annual Beer Fleet along the Fal River. Over 300 people, including Betty Stogs, packed a flotilla of boats and enjoyed beer, pasties and music on the voyage to Falmouth.

The festival was then officially opened in Events Square, before crowds danced away the night to Falmouth Soul Sensations.

Festival chairman, Tim Light, said: 'The Beer Fleet is an amazing way to start the festival and it grows every year.

'We had an array of vessels join the parade, including our first ever jetski.

'I’d like to think that Jubilee organisers took inspiration for the 1,000 boat flotilla in London from us!'

Adventure Sunday

Sunday was a day of adventure as Betty Stogs and daring fundraisers abseiled down the tower at the National Maritime Museum as part of the annual challenge to raise money for BF Adventure, while swimmers took to the water to take part in the RNLI’s Castle to Castle Swim.

Also on the Sunday and Bank Holiday Monday locals and visitors were treated to fish cooking demonstrations during the second Fal Fish Festival.

Mike Rangecroft of Falmouth Festival Ltd, which runs the Fish Festival, said: 'It was amazing to see how many people came through the marquee on the weekend.'

The festival runs until Sunday, June 10. Events include Film on the Fal, where the King Harry Ferry is turned into a floating cinema.