Hundreds of people joined the parade at Pembrokeshire’s Pilgrim Fayre which saw 2,500 people flock to the Bishop’s Palace in St Davids.

The Pilgrim Fayre on Bank Holiday Monday, May 29 was Ancient Connections’ penultimate event, supported by local communities, artists, traders, visitors and project partners.

Crowds of families enjoyed the live music, puppet parade, guided walks, traditional skills demos, market stalls and street theatre.

Highlights of the day included guided walks with Wexford-Pembrokeshire Pilgrim Way and St Davids Cathedral, a beautiful choir concert and performance by Span Arts and members of Côr Pawb, and demonstrations by Tywi Centre’s master builders and makers. 

Cardigan-based festival organisers and performers Small World Theatre also created a spectacular Pilgrim Parade with pupils from Ysgol Penrhyn Dewi. Their two giant puppets of Saint David and a sea monster led a crowd through the town and into the heart of the festivities.

St Davids Pilgrim Festival
(Small World Theatre)

“It was a sight to behold!” said Ancient Connections project manager Rowan Matthiessen. “We’ve been so fortunate to work with amazing Welsh and Irish artists, volunteers, partnering organisations and community groups throughout the three-year project. Over 12,000 volunteer hours have contributed to making the project a success.”

As part of the programme of open-air live music, Fernhill folk band founders Julie Murphy and Ceri Rhys Matthews were joined by Pembrokeshire musician Jess Ward, who said that both the day and the Bishop’s Palace setting were glorious and added that the Big Sing was beautiful.

Chair of Pembrokeshire County Council Cllr Thomas Tudor was at the event to greet delegates over from Ireland.

Siobhan McGovern, Co-project manager said: “The Pilgrim Fayre was a genuine celebration showcasing some of the finest talent, produce and crafts produced in West Wales. We wish to thank St Davids Cathedral and the Bishop’s Palace for supporting and hosting us, and everyone who took part and joined us.”

St Davids Pilgrim Fayre
(Small World Theatre)

The Ancient Connections project, part of the Ireland Wales co-operation programme, has created new links between North Wexford and North Pembrokeshire for the benefit of communities, the arts, heritage, trade and tourism. Monday’s event was a fitting tribute to the work that has been done as the Ancient Connections project comes to a close, and an extraordinarily great way to launch the Wexford-Pembrokeshire Pilgrim Way, which has created a physical link across the Irish Sea for both communities into the future.

On Monday, June 5, the giant puppet of Saint David, created by Small World Theatre, made the journey back to Ireland to take part in the final celebration in Ferns, Co. Wexford; his first international trip!

St Davids Pilgrim Fayre
(Small World Theatre)

To find out more about Ancient Connections, visit  and .