On the Day
At Midday the elegant dance leaves the Guildhall just as the Town Clock strikes twelve. The men dressed in top hats and tails escort their colourful and beautifully dressed ladies in the steps of the processional dance, weaving through the streets and buildings to the delight of the vast crowds.
The heroes of the day are of course the Helston Town Band who play the traditional tune as only they know how. Many of them process with the dancers on four occasions during the day around the four mile route, maintaining the rhythm and beat and sound that comes and goes throughout the day.
The streets of Helston echo to the sounds of enjoyment and happiness in celebration of a tradition that is steeped in history and receives such support and enthusiasm. Helston family members and friends will travel the world to be in the town for May 8th. We will welcome you to come and join them.
Details of the Dances
Morning Dance : Starts from the Guildhall at 7am
The Hal-an-Tow : Starts on St John’s Bridge at 8:30am
The Children’s Dance : Starts from Wendron Street at 9:40am
The Midday Dance : Starts from the Guildhall at 12 noon
The Evening Dance : Starts from the Guildhall at 5pm
Parking and Transport
There is plenty of parking in the town on Flora Day – as extra car parks are added just for the day. The extra car parks for 2019 are Helston Football Club, Helston Cricket Club, Helston Tesco and Helston Showground.
The map below shows all 4 car parks plus the temporary bus stops and the temporary taxi rank.
Parking and transport on Flora Day
The Morning Dance
Dancing begins at 7am when the early morning dance takes to the streets. This is the longest dance of the day and follows a route roughly outlining the extremities of "the old town". This dance was originally for the workers and servants who could have their enjoyment for the day before attending to their duties.
At 8.30am the Mummers' play known as the Hal-An-Tow starts at St Johns Bridge and is then performed at several more venues around the town. Watch St George and St Michael slay the Dragon and the Devil, cheered on by a crowd dressed in Lincoln green and Elizabethan robes.
The Children's Dance
The children of the town dance at 9.40am. Over 1,000 take part all dressed in white with the boys wearing their school ties and the girls wearing head dresses in their school colours. This dance starts at the bottom of Wendron Street.
The Midday Dance
At midday, there's the principal dance. This is The Ancient Furry Dance and was, in the past, reserved for the gentry of Helston and the surrounding district. Participation is still by invitation only and there is no greater honour for a Helstonian than to be asked to lead the dance. To do so you have to be Helston born.