Newquay Orchard holds annual Wassail

Newquay Orchard holds annual Wassail

Newquay Orchard Wassail

Newquay Orchard held its annual Wassail on Saturday 14th January 2022, coinciding with the community project’s 8th birthday.

The free event was attended by nearly 300 people who joined staff and volunteers to celebrate the Orchard and inspire a good harvest for the coming year.

Hetty Ninnis, Sustainable Landscapes Manager and ‘Wassail Queen’ said of the event: “This was, with no exaggeration, the biggest and best Wassail yet.

“It was so great to see so many people join us and take part in the costumes, the noise-making and the song.”

A Wassail is a pagan ritual which acts as a sort of blessing of the Orchard’s apple trees and to ward off evil spirits through banging and crashing and music.

Newquay Orchard is a seven-acre community greenspace on Duchy of Cornwall land which has worked with over a thousand volunteers since its inception.

Visitors on the day formed a procession through the Orchard to the ‘Wassail tree’, which is adorned with toast and soaked in cider each year.

Although the Wassail is a staple event in the Orchard’s calendar, this year was larger on scale, with the addition of live music from the Raffidy Dumitz Band from Penzance and Newquay’s own a Capella male chorus group, Oll an Gwella.

Guests were also treated to original storytelling from Orchard member and master storyteller Sam Crosby, who runs his community organisation Recalling Fire from Newquay Orchard, and specialises in captivating tales and audience engagement.

There were also tasty treats available in the form of mulled drinks from the Atlantic Brewing Company and cakes from Kernow Fornya, as well as homemade soup and hot drinks from the Orchard’s new café, Heart & Soul.

Hetty concluded: “This was a wonderful way to celebrate our community, to bring in the new year and showcase just what an amazing space has been created here at Newquay Orchard.”

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