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Wednesday, February 9, 2011

World's Largest Cornish Festival on in South Australia's Copper Coast 10-15 May 2011


Organisers have begun gathering the maypoles and Cornish finery, brewing Swanky and are getting ready to crimp thousands of Cornish Pasties as they gear up for one of South Australia's most famous biennial events - the Copper Coast Cornish Festival, locally known as the 'Kernewek Lowender' from 10-15 May 2011.

A celebration of Cornish cultural heritage forms the backbone of the festival, as the Copper Coast was once home to thousands of Cornish miners and their families. Traditional Cornish language, dress, song and foods all make the Kernewek Lowender an experience like none other.

Program highlights of what is heralded as the world's largest Cornish festival include the Village Green Fair, the Grand Procession, the Fer Kernewek (traditional Cornish fair) and the Classic Cavalcade of Cars, all held during the last three days of the six day event. With ever-popular features such as the Maypole Dance, the Furry Dance, the May Queen crowning, and the Cousin Jack and Jenny traditional costume competition again taking the stage.

In addition to these major events, another 30 affiliated events are held over the week providing visitors with the chance to discover the Cornish culture, immerse themselves in the value of arts and literacy, and enjoy and listen to powerful music and big bands.

There's the Art Prize Soiree, Poetry and Prose Night, Cornish Pasties and Saffron Cake Workshops, Dressing the Graves, Evening of Words and Wine, Blessing of the Waters, Cornish Association Seminar and more.

The Copper Coast community also arranges an array of exhibitions and displays for visitors to wander through including art exhibitions, heritage crafts, quilting displays and Cornish memorabilia.

Regardless of all the events the Star Performer of the Festival is the Cornish pasty with 20,000 pasties consumed during the week of festivities. The Cornish pasty was originally a meal for one person, with savoury in one end, a division in the middle, and fruit in the other. The Cornish pasty is easily identifiable by the distinctive crimp across the top. The Crimp was used by miners as a handle which was thrown away - this was to ensure they did not get any arsenic, an occupational hazard of copper mining, from their hands on the food they consumed. The crimp is now thought of as the best bit! Enjoy one with another favourite festival tradition - a home-style beer called 'Swanky' brewed specially for Kernewek Lowender.

Major sponsors of the festival are the South Australian Tourism Commission, The Dunes at Pt Hughes Residential and Resort Development, and the District Council of the Copper Coast.

Kernewek Lowender is to be held from May 10-15, an estimated 30,000 people are expected to visit the towns of Wallaroo, Moonta and Kadina for this big event.

Kernewek Lowender are words from the traditional Cornish language which translate to 'Cornish Happiness', or actually 'Happiness Cornish', as the founding committee members got the words back to front. The common name 'Copper Coast Cornish Festival' was developed for everyone who has no idea how to say 'Kernewek Lowender'.

The Kernewek Lowender program of events is now out with tickets on sale from February 1. Programs are available online at www.kernewek.org or by contacting the Copper Coast Visitor Information Centre on 08 8821 4500 or free call 1800 654 991.

The Copper Coast has plenty of accommodation available for anyone visiting the area; enquire at the Copper Coast Visitor Information Centre or visit www.yorkepeninsula.com.au.

Year round there are many Cornish visitor attractions around the Yorke Peninsula - from museums, historic cottages, walking trails and a tourist railway in the Moonta Mines State Heritage Area - all conveying the history of the copper mines founded by Cornish immigrants, to many examples of dry stone walls, underground hard hat and miner's lamp tours of the Wheal Hughes copper mine, and the Cornish Kitchen at Moonta.

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