New Year’s Eve in St Ives | How it all started

Story has it that St Ives’ famous New Year’s Eve celebrations all started because of some friendly local rivalry.

In a seaside resort, long long ago, a pub in the centre of town decided to have a fancy dress party…

As the night went on and the cheerful mood increased the costume clad locals spilled out of the pub and took to the streets to show off their outfits. As they paraded around they were noticed by other pubs who decided that next year they would show them who could really throw the best New Year’s party.

So, when next New Year’s Eve rolled by several other pubs in St Ives had fancy dress themes for the night and inevitably the temptation to take to the streets and show off was too much to resist. As the years went by more and more places in town started getting in on the fun and it quickly built up to become the famous celebration that we know and love today.

Usually people start pouring into St Ives at around 5pm which is the best time to take smaller children around so they can enjoy the beginnings of the lively festivities and atmosphere. From about 9pm onwards the party really starts to liven up and at least one band (last year’s main attraction was an awesome Samba group) start to snake their way through the streets with the odd conger line or two forming behind them.

As the night goes on the revelries continue and in anticipation of the clock striking twelve the crowds start to flow towards the harbour front to join in the countdown to midnight before bursting into waves of cheers and applause as the fireworks fill the skies above St Ives and across the bay.

Each year usually has a popular theme, last year there were certainly plenty of Donald Trumps strolling around but if you’re staying in a self-catering property and you still haven’t decided, fear not, you can choose from a range of fun and unique outfits from the charity shops in St Ives in the run-up to the 31st and you can even rent costumes from Kids R Us theatre.