The Furry Dance - Cornwall, England

TheFurryDanceHelston in Cornwall is a quiet town, pretty, lots of interesting local shops and a couple of great bakeries.

However, the quiet, quaint town changes during one day of the year - on the first Saturday in May when the Furry Dance takes place. The Furry Dance is a celebration of the passing of Winter and the arrival of Spring. You'll have heard the tune - the Floral Dance (Paul Robeson had a great recording) - it's one of those tunes that gets stuck in your head and won't leave.

The Town Band marches through the streets playing this little gem over and over. At 8.30am they are following by hundreds of kids, dressed all in white, who dance following the band (shades of the Pied Piper?). This year we heard there were 2,000 kids dancing. The main street is closed to traffic and every upstairs window is crammed with people; down below visitors are 10 deep along the route.

After a break until around noon, we see the town dignitaries, their ladies and guests doing the same dance up and down the main street. Dressed in white? No! The gents in morning suits with grey top hats, the ladies in long gowns. Up and down the street they go while visitors go crazy trying to take pictures. Of course, professional photogs come equipped with a step ladder.

So next May, plan your trip to England and be sure to take in the town of Helston to co-incide with the Furry Dance. While there, also visit the Sweet Shop - more candies than you can think of - and fudge to die for!


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