2022 is the 417th anniversary of The Gunpower Plot, and the origins of Bridgwater Carnival can be traced back to when Guy Fawkes and his fellow conspirators failed in their attempt to blow up the Houses of Parliament in 1605.
When the Bridgwater Carnival procession starts on 5 November 2022 at 6pm, 1099 days will have elapsed since the carnival last graced the streets of this historic market town.
Distance wise the procession route is just over 1.7 miles long, and the carnival will take more than 2 hours to pass any one viewing point.
All 1,465 grandstand seats were sold within 4 weeks of going on sale back in April. In addition, 171 corporate hospitality packages have been sold for the big night, all of which included a grandstand ticket.
35 trade stands will line the procession route on carnival night.
55 coaches / minibuses have pre-booked to attend Bridgwater Carnival 2022.
Approximately 200 people are expected to take part in this year’s squibbing display. The squibs are 300mm long by 200mm in circumference and hold approximately 1lb of gunpowder. 2022 marks 306 years since the first recorded evidence of squibbing in Bridgwater back in 1716. In 2021 a record 250 squibs were fired simultaneously as more carnivalites were available to take part. This is because the Covid pandemic meant the carnival procession was cancelled for the second successive year and just a low key and
symbolic walking procession was organised.
37 cups and trophies will be awarded on carnival night by our 66 judges. Before the results are announced on the evening, 3,524 separate judging scores will be entered onto laptops to ascertain which entries came where.
Since Bridgwater Guy Fawkes Carnival’s new official website (www.bridgwatercarnival.org.uk) went live in January 2022, it has received 121,732 hits viewing 385,635 pages, including 96,800 from computer users living in the UK, 15,698 from America, and 4,147 from Andorra. On Sunday 5 June, the day of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Pageant where Bridgwater Carnival’s Jubilation took part, the website attracted 3,275 views.
1,100 no waiting (yellow) cones, 500 traffic (red and white) cones, and 200 road traffic (orange) barriers, will be set out by the carnival committee’s road traffic team in readiness for the 2022 carnival. The first were laid out on Wednesday 2 November, and the last will be collected late on Sunday 6 November. 80 radios will be in operation during the event.
22 companies and organisations are official sponsors of Bridgwater Carnival 2022.
Since 2000 Bridgwater Carnival related activities have raised over £496,672 for the official Bridgwater Guy Fawkes Carnival charity and other local supported charities. At this year’s event over 300 collectors will be on the streets on carnival night with over 400 collection buckets, supporting the 7 collection carts in the procession and collecting money for the Bridgwater Guy Fawkes Carnival charity and 23 other charities and community groups.
For the past 9 consecutive years (excluding the Covid years), Bridgwater Guy Fawkes Carnival has been supported and awarded grants by Arts Council England – the Government funded body, who has the responsibility of distributing money from the Government and National Lottery to the development of arts in England.
22,559 people follow the official Bridgwater Guy Fawkes Carnival Facebook page.
5,821 people follow Bridgwater Carnival’s official Twitter account.
888 people follow Bridgwater Carnival’s official Instagram account, which only went live earlier this year.
61 volunteers took part in the recent free marshalling training provided by Bridgwater Guy Fawkes Carnival in partnership with Bridgwater and Taunton College, and 48 of these will be working at this year’s event.
Various research projects and studies have concluded that Bridgwater Carnival is worth an estimated £4,000,000 annually to the local economy – £2,000,000 during the weekend of the carnival and a further £2,000,000 from carnival related activities throughout the year.
2022 sees the 17th anniversary of the formal unveiling of the carnival squibber statue in the centre of Bridgwater. Watching over the High Street as people go about their daily lives, the statue has become synonymous with carnival lovers from all over the world.
23 large, colourful carnival masks are now on display in retail outlets around the town of Bridgwater. These have all been decorated by children from 20 local schools and nurseries using the given theme for 2022 of ‘Jubilation’ the name of the carnival cart built by carnivalites for the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Pageant back in June. This project forms part of the annual school projects which Bridgwater Carnival runs as part of its annual celebrations.
2022 sees a number of carnival clubs celebrating special anniversaries for the number of years they have been formed:
85 years – Cavaliers CC
70 years – Wills CC
60 years – Wick CC
50 years – Harlequin CC
50 years – Pentathlon CC
50 years – Gorgons CC
40 years – Sidvale CC
30 years – Bridgwater Belles
Over 1,000 people are involved with the 91 entries in this year’s event.
Bridgwater Guy Fawkes Carnival has become even more environmentally friendly and sustainable in recent times, and this year just under 4 Megawatts of electricity will power the 46 carnival carts taking part in the 2022 carnival procession. This compares to 2018, when over 8 megawatts of electricity powered the 45 carnival carts.
Over 500,000 individual lights (lamps and LEDs) will illuminate the skyline as the carts meander around the streets of Bridgwater on Saturday 5 November.
The first physical person to portray Guy Fawkes at Bridgwater Carnival was Joseph Spriggs who led the parade in 1896 on the Guy Fawkes cart, a tradition which survives to this very day. Since then archives show only 12 other people have had the honour of portraying this notorious character.
This is the 51st consecutive year (excluding the Covid years) Newmarket CC’s Kieron Howes has been performing on a carnival cart. Kieran started out with Wellworthy CC in 1969 (now Renegades CC), before joining Golden Lion CC (now Cavaliers CC). He has been in Newmarket CC for the past 46 years, where he currently holds the positions of club secretary and club treasurer.
Irene Hill, founder and life member of Nunsford Nutters CC from Devon, has just turned 88 years of age and she will be performing on the club’s 2022 entry Walk like a Dinosaur.
Gremlins CC’s 2022 entry Feast of Fools has over 50 motors on the cart for movement and over 8000 metres of cable for lighting alone.
Over 200 people from 17 different carnival clubs were involved with the construction of ‘Jubilation’ – the carnival cart built by carnivalites for the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Pageant and being paraded at the 2022 Somerset County Guy Fawkes Carnivals by Griffens CC. The impressive cart reflected the various regal elements of the monarchy including the royal crest, 4 revolving crowns, 12 moving Beefeaters and 8 royal carriages. There are 40 engineered moving parts, 18 spectacularly crafted models, over 4,000 lights and additional spotlights with 36 individual speakers powered by 43.5 kilowatts. The build itself used 180 sheets of 12mm plywood, over 20,000 wood screws and 200 litres of environmentally friendly water-based paint to decorate the cart.