Are you ready for Cornwall’s Obby Oss Festival? Everything you need to know.

Want to join in the fun? Here is all you need to know:

On 1st May, Padstow holds a  huge  day of celebration in the town and it is  when  Padstonians from all over the world return to their roots.

The winding streets of Padstow fill with as many as 30,000 celebrating  “Obby ‘Oss” day as it is  known. The origins of the festival are unclear but it has been taking place for centuries. The town is  decorated with flag and flowers, and the obby oss is paraded through the town to the maypole with the locals dressed in white and  blue or red.

Cornwall May day in Padstow

Proceedings  are kicked off at midnight on 30th April, May Day Eve, when everyone gathers outside the Golden Lion Inn to start the night singing to the landlord, continuing their songs through the town and by morning the town  and may pole has been dressed with Cowslips, bluebells, sycamore twigs and forget-me-nots.

On May Day,  there are  two separate Obby Oss processions that make their way around Padstow.  Each procession represents a different half of the town’s   community.

Throughout the day, there is much singing, dancing and drinking and other activities such as  fair rides and face painting.

At around 10am, The Blue Ribbon obby oss leaves the Padstow Institute and tours around Padstow.  The old obby oss appears outside the Golden Lion at around 11am. They are accompanied by accordionists and drummers with supports singing the may song. Both parades do circuits around the town to  Prideaux Place, lead by a character wearing a top hat and carrying a decorated stick.

Padstow May Day

The obby oss’s end their day around the maypole where everyone sings the May song, before they are returned to their stables around midnight .

If you want to join in the fun – get there early. There is a park and ride service at the top of town near the Tesco supermarket. You can also park in Rock and take the regular ferry across to Padstow.



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