It’s time to celebrate everything Cornish with a week of fun festivities!
Every year, more than 45,000 visitors from across South Australia and interstate locations come to the northern Yorke Peninsula towns of Moonta, Kadina and Wallaroo to attend the biennial Kernewek Lowender Copper Coast Cornish Festival from 17th to 23rd of May.
The event-packed program includes traditional Cornish dancing, a street parade, a pasty bake-off, classic cavalcade of cars and motorcycles, concerts, Cornish ceremonies, a street party, markets, feasts, exhibitions, pub specials and entertainment, an art prize exhibition and much more.
With this many fun events, every day is jam packed full of activities with something to see and do at any moment of the day across the three host towns.
There are also some themed events with one of the 2021 events, Dressing The Graves, having a Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) theme, with ceremonies at Wallaroo, Greens Plains West, Kadina and Moonta Cemeteries honouring RAAF veteran’s graves, and commemorating the Centenary of the RAAF with a special link to Moonta, birthplace of Sir Richard Williams, father of the RAAF.
Program highlights across the 7 days include:
• Take a guided tour through the Moonta Mines National Heritage Precinct, highlighting the history of the Taylor’s Shaft the first shaft opened, the deepest shaft and sadly the first death in Moonta Mines. Visit Richman’s Pumphouse to hear of its importance and role within Copper mining operations.
• Watch the Moonta Mines Blacksmith displays, bringing heritage skills to life.
• Explore the Moonta Mines Museums, and just across the road, the Moonta Mines Sweets Shops with it walls of colourful lollies.
• Visit the Moonta Mines Cottage & Garden, where volunteers dressed in Cornish costume will proudly show you this traditional style Miner’s Cottage established around 1870 initially built with wattle and daub, and as the family grew added to in several stages with whatever materials were available.
• Book a seat on the unique Road Tram around the streets of Moonta, where a guide will tell the story of the history of the Cornish Miners settlement of this historic town and heritage listed buildings.
• Explore your Cornish ancestry at the Moonta National Trust Expo, with historians on-site to help answer questions. See an exhibition of “Old Meets New” photographs depicting Moonta and the Moonta Mines National Heritage Precinct; or enjoy the Moonta Mines Museum Costume Display.
• Expand your vocabulary with Cornish Language Lessons, conducted by Cornish Bard Lilian James. Participants will learn everyday expressions in Cornish, days of the week, months of the year, numbers and a simple table Grace.
• Discover your origins at the Family History research centre in Kadina, open during the festival to help visitors research their family history linked to the Copper Coast; in your own episode of Who Do You Think You Are?
• Visit Camelot Garden, a private garden inspired by a traditional English Country Garden with established trees and garden beds showcasing cottage flowers, roses, hellebores and bordering edges of rosemary. A scaled model of a Cornish Miners Cottage adjoins manicured lawns and decking overlooks a water feature and croquet court. Visitors during the festival with also be treated to a Cornish Cream Tea by hosts in traditional Cornish costume.
• Nightly through the 7-day festival, the Wallaroo Silo Light Show will celebrate the unique history, events and local artists of the Copper Coast, including the Kernewek Lowender and our proud Cornish history and heritage.
His Excellency the Honourable Hieu Van Le AC Governor of South Australia will officially open the 2021 Kernewek Lowender Copper Coast Cornish Festival in Moonta on Friday 21st May, before the final 3 days of the festival takes place over the weekend.
Friday 21st May – official opening, Moonta o Street Parade o Fer Kernewek, Moonta Oval – a traditional Cornish Fair featuring many varied stalls selling food, souvenirs and trinkets with entertainment throughout the day. o Pasty Bake-Off o Maypole Dancing & Furry Dance
Saturday 22nd May –
Kadina & Wallaroo
• Village Fair, Kadina – Loads of fun for the whole family with stalls filled with local produce, food trucks, show rides, entertainment, and traditional Cornish Pasty’s will be available.
• Cousin Jack & Jenny – dress up in traditional Cornish attire and be part of the festival spirit.
• Maypole Dancing o Wallaroo Street Party – Street parties have long been a feature of Celtic village life, with live entertainment in a garden atmosphere, with local traders offering a variety of food options and Cornish Swanky Beer available along with other craft beers and local food and beverages.
• Gathering of the Bards – This ancient ceremony is conducted entirely in the Cornish language by Cornish Bards from around Australia, wearing traditional blue flowing robes as they proceed into the Bardic Circle. With bardic songs & dance, banners & flags, this is a colourful, beautiful ceremony being held in Wallaroo.
Sunday 23rd May –
Wallaroo & Kadina
• Blessing the Waters o Classic Cavalcade of Cars & Motorcycles – Attracting over 500 vehicles from around Australia, spectators line the route to wave participants on and marvel at these classic, veteran and vintage cars and motorcycles as they drive through Wallaroo and Moonta before arriving in Kadina.
• Cavalcade Fun Fair – Following the Classic Cavalcade of Cars & Motorcycles, vehicles will be displayed at the Kadina Football Oval, providing a closer look at the magnificent machines and an opportunity to chat with the proud owners. Enjoy the fairground atmosphere with entertainment and a variety of food, drink and merchandise stalls available including the festival’s famous Swanky Beer, fun fair rides; with dancing and music by the Legends Rock and Roll Club.
Whilst international travel restrictions mean that travellers from Cornwall are unable to attend, the 2021 event will go on complying with COVID-Safe event conditions. To comply with density venue requirements, all free & ticketed event will require event attendees to pre-register, social distancing and hygiene practices will apply, and COVID Marshalls will be in attendance at all venues.