Bridgwater Guy Fawkes Carnival, one of the county’s best loved annual events, has been postponed until 2021.
The difficult and timely decision was taken following discussions between Bridgwater Guy Fawkes Carnival Committee, Somerset County Guy Fawkes Carnivals Association, the entrants, and the authorities regarding the ever changing Coronavirus threat in the UK.
Following the discussions, it was unanimously agreed that safety and public health has to be the number one priority, and during such uncertain and unprecedented times, this was the right thing to do and the only sensible way forward.
Bridgwater Carnival is the oldest carnival in the UK, and is one of the largest illuminated processions in Europe. Every year the event attracts tens of thousands of people from all over the county and the world, and raises a huge amount of money for charities and good causes. The 2020 carnival concerts and the ‘Grand Firework Display’ held on the evening before the carnival procession have also been postponed.
Mike Crocker, President for Bridgwater Guy Fawkes Carnival, said: “Unfortunately illuminated carnivals like we have been accustomed to in Bridgwater will now not take place this year and will be sadly postponed.
“It is highly unlikely that any large gatherings of people will be allowed until there is a vaccination for COVID-19, and when this is combined with the ongoing social distancing arrangements which will remain in place for some considerable time yet, there is very little chance of the carnival committee and the entries of being able to raise the necessary monies needed to put on such a spectacular event.”
The carnival community has already introduced a number of proactive measures to reduce the risk of spreading Coronavirus, some of which include:
o Cancelling face to face committee meetings until further notice
o Cancelling fundraising events
o Cancelling the 2020 Old Folks Show which was due to take place at the end of March
o Postponement of the 2020 Carnival Concerts front of curtain act auditions
“We will of course continue to monitor the rapidly changing Coronavirus situation in the UK and follow Government guidance and advice, and we very much hope that the situation in the country will have improved enormously by the beginning of November”, added Mike.
“If the situation changes, I am sure we will look at continuing the carnival tradition in a very low key and symbolic way.
“In the meantime, please stay safe and our thoughts are very much with those who have been affected and impacted by Coronavirus.”
We look forward to welcoming the public back to Bridgwater Guy Fawkes Carnival in 2021 on Saturday 6 November.