With just over two weeks until the carnival comes to town, the final countdown has begun to Bridgwater Carnival 2015.
For the carnival clubs who are working around the clock to finish their spectacular entries, to the carnival organisers who are finalising the arrangements for the town’s biggest night of the year, the preparations are nearing completion.
Bridgwater Carnival’s origins lie in the failed exploits of Guy Fawkes, and in this, the 410th anniversary of these Gunpowder Plot celebrations, Bridgwater Carnival 2015 is set to be the biggest and best one yet.
In recent times traditional community carnival events throughout the country have disappointingly not taken place due to lack of support and resources, and the increasing amount of legislation and insurance premiums. Thankfully Bridgwater Carnival has managed to manoeuvre itself through these difficult times, and this is testament to the town’s dedicated carnivalites and the invaluable support received from Arts Council England, Refresco Gerber UK Ltd (main local event sponsor) and many other local businesses and organisations.
On carnival day itself, the build up to the grand procession starts in the town centre at 10am, and carnival revellers will scarcely have time to pause for breath. There is just so much happening in the town centre with fun planned for the whole family. Early visitors will be entertained by a variety of acts, including glam rock tribute band – SNOG, Harry Winchester, Jordan Hill, Ashley Quinn, ACTS Choir, Bridgwater College Performing Arts students, Portsmouth samba band ‘Batala’, Wells City Band, Two Tone, Molly and the Kings, Samba Galez and other live music acts and street entertainers, to name just a few. Refreshments are being served in Bridgwater Town Hall throughout carnival day by carnival committee members and supporters.
More than 150 local children from schools (Robert Blake Science College, Chilton Trinity Technological College, St John and St Francis, Somerset Bridge and Westover Green) will be taking part in a children’s dance parade through the town centre at 2.15pm, and this has been sponsored by Hinkley Point A, Magnox. A children’s lantern parade will also take place at 3.45pm.
Local commercial radio stations Heart FM and Breeze FM will both be broadcasting live from the town centre on carnival day and will feature all of the latest chat and news about Bridgwater Carnival.
The main carnival procession starts at 7pm and will be led by the carnival committee’s official Guy Fawkes cart which has been sponsored by Angel Place Shopping Centre, and a 14ft effigy of Guy Fawkes made from willow by the Somerset Willow Company. 111 entries will follow, including 50 illuminated carnival carts, and will enthral the tens of thousands of people expected to line the procession route. The entertainment will be brought to a fitting finale when over 150 squibbers line the town’s High Street immediately after the procession for the traditional squibbing display.
Official charity collectors will be on the streets on carnival night, and organisers are hoping to beat last year’s collection total of £23,739. Those who miss the collectors and would like to make a donation, can do so online at www.bridgwatercarnival.org.uk or by texting BGFC12 to 70070 followed by £1, £2, £3, £4, £5 or £10. So come on, please dig deep and let’s raise as much money as we can to make Bridgwater proud.
Rita Jones, president of Bridgwater Guy Fawkes Carnival, said; “I can’t wait until the big day, and I promise you will be truly mesmerised by Bridgwater Carnival 2015.
“In my mind Bridgwater Carnival proves time and time again it really is the home of carnival, and after you have seen this year’s offering, I am sure you will have the same opinion as me. So here goes…let the fun begin, enjoy… and let’s not forget the night the 2015 carnival came to town… I certainly won’t!”