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Sedgemoor Masquerade Week to replace traditional Guy Fawkes celebrations

CARNIVALITES in Sedgemoor have revealed plans to commemorate The Gunpowder Plot this year in a low key and symbolic way.

Organisers of Bridgwater Carnival and Highbridge and Burnham on Sea carnival have joined forces to stage a number of smaller one-off individual events as part of a Sedgemoor Masquerade Week to celebrate the failure of Guy Fawkes in 1605.

The news comes after the annual traditional illuminated carnival processions and carnival concerts were cancelled for the second successive year due to the continuing impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Taking place between Sunday, October 31 and Monday, November 8, the Sedgemoor Masquerade Week has been organised to thank the local community for their patience, support and perseverance over the past 18 months, and also to pay tribute to the individuals who have been affected by COVID-19.

The week will consist of the following events:

BRIDGWATER

  • Sunday, October 31, to Thursday, November 4: 2021 Variety Show, Town Hall. Presented by Bridgwater Gangs & Features Clubs, Bridgwater Guy Fawkes Carnival, and Bridgwater Town Council. Performances start 3pm on Sunday and 7pm on Monday to
    Thursday.
  • Friday, November 5: Grand Firework Display, 7.30pm, St Matthew’s Field. Sponsored by Bridgwater Town Council and supported by Sedgemoor District Council. Car parking on the field from 6pm – £5 per car with proceeds to the official carnival charity. A funfair will also be present in St Matthew’s Field.
  • Saturday, November 6: Bridgwater Town Centre: 2.30pm – street entertainment begins; 5.30pm – Grand Costume Parade, followed by simultaneous squibbing display; 7pm – 2021 Virtual Carnival titled Through the Decades. The two hour live stream broadcast will feature 100 entries from Bridgwater Carnival processions held over the past 40 years.

BURNHAM-ON-SEA

  • Sunday, November 7: Grand Firework Display, 6.30pm – Esplanade. Organised by Burnham & Highbridge Town Council.
  • Monday, November 8: Grand Costume Parade, 7pm.

More information on these activities will be released nearer the time and posted on the official Bridgwater Guy Fawkes Carnival website (www.bridgwatercarnival.org.uk) and official social media channels (Facebook – BridgwaterGuyFawkesCarnival, Twitter – @BCarnival.

Both carnival committees will also continue to follow and monitor the COVID-19 guidance and advice issued by the Government.

Dave Croker, chairman of the Bridgwater Guy Fawkes Carnival Committee, said: “Despite the fact that our carnival concerts and illuminated carnival processions which we know and love will not return to their full glory until 2022, it really is positive to be in a position to organise some much needed entertainment and enjoyment for the town.

“So many community events have been cancelled due to the Pandemic, and even though we will not have a single carnival cart in sight, these low key and symbolic activities which we are planning will hopefully put a smile back on all of our faces and help us prepare for the 2022 carnival season.”

Phil New, chairman of the Highbridge & Burnham-On-Sea Carnival Committee, added: “I am really looking forward to the week of activities, and now is the time to bring back a bit of normality to Sedgemoor.

“In Burnham, we dedicate this year’s grand costume parade to all of the key workers who have been on the front line throughout the pandemic, as well as all of the volunteers who have played a major supporting role”.

Carnival as we know it will return in 2022, with Bridgwater Guy Fawkes Carnival planned for Saturday, November 5 and Highbridge and Burnham-On-Sea Carnival for Monday, November 7.

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