Christmas in St Ives 2018: A Staycation Guide
December in St Ives is full of festivities every year, and Christmas in St Ives 2018 is no different.
From local Christmas markets, live music, the St Ives Christmas light switch-on, to Santa Claus himself making an appearance at high tide. St Ives offers a Christmas for everyone.
St Ives Christmas Lights Switch On
St Ives officially kicks off Christmas on the 1st December at 6 pm with an energetic Lantern Parade. It’s hard not to feel in the Christmas spirit with an entire town singing and dancing along with the Celtic Samba Band whilst parading their way to Royal Square. The Christmas light countdown begins and as soon as the cold night sky is lit with a warm sparkling glow, you know it’s Christmas in St Ives. 5-8pm Gabriel Street. Chapel Street. Tregenna Hill, Tregenna Place, High Street, Back Street, Market Place, Lifeboat Hill, Back Lane, Fore Street.
St Ives Christmas Markets
Local markets are the place for gift ideas, stocking up the pantry and perhaps treating yourself to a little something, especially at Christmas time. St Ives has two main Christmas markets to explore this December
Etsy Made Local Christmas Fair
After great success last year, the St Ives Etsy Christmas fair will be taking place in The Guildhall, Street an Pol over three days with 35+ exhibitions to see. Go along to interact with the many artists and makers of Cornwall who are inspired by the Cornish landscape and pick up some truly original gifts. Entry is free, along with live music, a festive cafe and, of course, a very Christmassy atmosphere.
Friday 30th November 6 pm to 9 pm
Saturday 1st December 10 am to 5 pm
Sunday 2nd December 10 am to 4 pm
St Ives Farmers Market
Every Thursday from 9.30 am – 2 pm in The Guildhall, Street an Pol, St Ives, the town centre is always bustling with excitement. And in December, it is no different. With the inviting smell of homemade bread and pastries wafting through the streets, you can find local produce being sold on a variety of stalls. Freshly caught fish, homemade jams, olives, fruit and veg, pies, cheese… the delicious list goes on. For a truly local, sustainable shopping experience at Christmas time, head down to the stalls and see what Cornish delicacies land in your basket.
Santa Claus is coming to St Ives Town
Santa normally arrives on a sleigh, but not in St Ives. Father Christmas lets his reindeers rest up for a night and comes into St Ives harbour riding the high-tide with the RNLI. On the 7th December, Santa Claus will drive around the harbour and wave hello to all the waiting children before descending on the Wharf where the Mayor will greet him and the Phoenix Choir will sing Christmas carols. A wonderfully festive evening.
Live Music, Quizzes and Open-Mic Nights – The Castle Inn
Fancy something a little more local? The Castle Inn is a traditional ‘proper’ pub in St Ives that host live acoustic lunchtime sessions during your Sunday roast as well as evening performances on Friday and Saturday throughout December. What’s more, they have a quiz every Monday night and invite everyone to participate in open mic night for those Christmas hits every Sunday evening.
Be a judge in the St Ives Christmas Window Competition
It is a Christmas tradition in St Ives for over 60 shops and galleries to dress their windows in the finest festive gear to compete for one (or both) of the coveted annual awards. The theme this year is The Snow Queen and on the 15th December, local artists Bob Devereux and Anthony Frost will be touring the town to decide the winner for Best Overall Window Display and deciding rosettes for Best Interpretation of the Theme; Most Humorous Window; Best Small Window. BUT! The People’s Award is highly sought after. This is where visitors and locals of St Ives vote for their favourite display. Here is how you can get involved:
Voting Boxes in both local Post Offices – on the Wharf and on Tregenna Hill where you can cast your vote. Closing date for votes is 12.30pm on Saturday 29 December 2018
Instagram – take a photo of the window you want to vote for and hashtag it with #SIDwindow2018 and the shop name. (It can only be counted if you have a public account). The closing date for votes is midnight on Monday 31 December 2018.
Post a picture on St Ives in December Facebook page comments section with the shop name. One vote per person. The closing date for votes is midnight on Monday 31 December 2018.
St Ives’ New Year’s Eve Party
The culmination of the Christmas season, this is the biggest, most dazzling party in the St Ives annual calendar. The entire town takes on a carnival ambience and folk come from far and wide to join the fancy dress celebrations. Streets are packed with revellers sporting crazy costumes, live music spills out of harbourside venues and the skies over the ocean light up with fireworks at midnight.
Carbis Bay Holidays offer a range of self-catering holiday cottages perfect for a Christmas holiday in St Ives. Whether you’re looking for a cosy cottage with a wood burner or a family pile footsteps from the sea, check out our luxury holiday accommodation in and around St Ives.
NOTE: this article will be reviewed and updated closer to Christmas to ensure that all dates and events are running.