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Somerset Carnivals

Somerset Carnivals

Somerset Carnivals

It can be tricky to convey to someone from outside the county just how important (and dazzling) the Somerset carnivals are. Tens of thousands of people line the streets to watch the Guy Fawkes carnivals which take place throughout Somerset in November.

It’s claimed that the Somerset carnivals are the largest illuminated processions in the world. And if you’ve been to a carnival you’ll know that it’s hard to argue otherwise. Carnival ‘carts’ are built and designed by carnival clubs around the county. Taking months to complete, these really are a labour of love.

Each cart has a theme. The largest will be up to 100 feet in length and illuminated with thousands of bulbs. Carnival club members ride on the carts in fancy dress, often dancing/juggling/singing to pounding music. Hundreds of carts can take part in each of the processions, so a Somerset carnival can easily last for a couple of hours. Carts are judged and prizes awarded at each event.

The amount of entries to each carnival can vary as a few of the carts can be too long to naviagate some of the local streets. Bridgwater always kicks things off in style on the county circuit. Here, the crowd is usually in excess of 100,000!

Somerset carnivals

SOMERSET CARNIVALS – 2018 ROUTES

The Cross is fortunate to be located near to three Somerset carnivals; Glastonbury, Shepton Mallet and Wells. As you can see from the list below, these take place within a few days of each other. Carnival addicts could take in all 3! (View a comprehensive list of all the routes.)

Dates for 2018 are as follows;

            Bridgwater on Saturday 3 November 7pm

            Highbridge & Burnham-on-Sea on Monday 5 November 7:30pm    

            Weston-super-Mare on Friday 9 November 7:15pm          

            North Petherton on Saturday 10 November 7:00pm

            Midsomer Norton on Monday 12 November 7:30pm           

            Shepton Mallet on Wednesday 14 November 7:30pm         

            Wells on Friday 16 November 7:00pm

            Glastonbury on Saturday 17 November 7:00pm       

Roads on the main routes are closed prior to and during each event. (Ahead of the Wells carnival one of the local roads is used as a temporary car park as carts are parked up ready for the big event. It’s not a sight you expect to see as you visit the supermarket…)

Somerset Carnivals

While the events are free to attend, they are designed to raise money for local causes. If you fancy experiencing one of the Somerset carnivals please take some change with you. And do remember to take some warm clothing (preferably with a pocket for a hip flask).

Happy carnivalling!

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