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Crowds flock to opening weekend of Fal River Festival

From 30 May 2013

Truro and Penwith College Fal River Festival draws more people than ever in its eighth year.

Organisers are hailing the opening weekend a success after crowds flocked to the 2013 Truro and Penwith College Fal River Festival.

Despite the windy conditions, the festival got underway with the traditional Beer Fleet from Truro to Falmouth.

Around 300 people boarded the flotilla, which had local icon Betty Stoggs as the figurehead, and enjoyed beer and pasties in blustery conditions.

The fleet was boosted by the presence of the 116ft Bessie Allen, an eight-sail trading ketch, and the first tall ship to take part in the procession.

The 10 day festival, which celebrates life on and around the River Fal, runs until Sunday, June 2 and features over 150 events covering music, theatre, art, food, drink, sport and water.

See all the photos from the Festival launch >

Fantastic time

Fal River’s, Tommy Tonkins, said: “There was a real buzz for the Beer Fleet. The weather was mixed in the morning and I think people we wondering how it would turn out.

“But apart from it being a little bit windy the weather was perfect and everyone had a fantastic time.

“The procession through Falmouth from Prince of Wales Pier to Events Square lead by Betty Stoggs with the ceremonial keg of Skinners was great, and so many people stopped to watch and get involved.”

The festival was officially opened by all the children present at the opening and Betty Stoggs, before the crowd danced the night away to music performed by Truro and Penwith College students.

Diverse events

The sun came out on Saturday for the launch of the Fal Fish Festival, which this year was extended to three days.

Crowds were able to sample local food and drink, as well as watch demonstrations from some of Cornwall’s finest chefs including the Greenbank Hotel’s Fiona Were and Annie Sibert.

While for the second in year running Trelissick Gardens was turned into the venue for Three Choirs in the Garden.

Cathie Shipwright from Truro said: “The Three Choirs event was superb. We had friends staying from New Zealand who thought it was a great evening and a lovely thing to do in the gardens.”

The festival runs until Sunday, June 2.