WITH just three months until what would have undoubtedly been the town’s biggest night of the year, Bridgwater Guy Fawkes Carnival has today revealed the full details of its 2021 ‘virtual carnival’.
Taking place on Saturday, November 6 at 7pm, the two hour online event – titled ‘Through the Decades’ – will feature 100 entries from Bridgwater Carnival processions held over the past 40 years.
Usually Bridgwater Carnival is held annually on the first Saturday in November, but due to the pandemic and the associated decision to cancel this year’s event, this will be the second successive year organisers have streamed an online virtual carnival on what would have been carnival night.
Dave Stokes, publicity director for the carnival, said: “First and foremost safety is our number one priority.
“And with so much uncertainty still in terms of the risk from the virus and the fact that the lockdown restrictions over the past 16 months have seriously limited the fundraising opportunities both for us as a committee and the entrants themselves, we felt cancelling this year’s carnival celebrations was the most sensible option.
“So following the incredible success of last year’s ‘best of the best’ virtual live stream which
raised approximately £10,000 for carnival funds, we have decided to do something similar for 2021 and have called this year’s production Through the Decades.
“The virtual carnival stream is being sponsored by EDF’s Hinkley Point B power station, and is being made technically possible through the expertise of Maniac Films and Somerset Web Services.
“Those who tune in to watch the stream on carnival night from the comfort of their own homes or from their local pubs are in for a real treat.”
40 years of carnival
Dave Croker, the carnival chairman, said: “When we first set out putting this virtual carnival together, we wanted to remember and acknowledge some of the clubs and walking entries who have graced our carnival over the last 40 years.
“I think we have achieved that, and even though some of the entrants no longer take part in our carnival, I truly believe people will really enjoy this trip down yesteryear and it will revive some special memories of times gone by.
“We also have a couple of surprises planned, including footage of our carnival which has never been made available before.”
Through the Decades will feature entries which have taken part in Bridgwater Carnival between 1981 and 2019 – the years when the carnival has officially been filmed.
As with previous live streamings of the event, carnival organisers are hoping to raise money for the Bridgwater Carnival charity by asking viewers to make a donation when the virtual carnival is broadcast.
Those who are unable to see the virtual carnival on the night or who would like to watch it again, will be able to do so for a small charge by signing onto Bridgwater Carnival’s official Vimeo channel from Sunday, November 7.
Also available will be a limited number of official DVDs of the Through the Decades virtual carnival.
These can be pre-ordered now for £10 (+ postage and packing) from the carnival website online shop (www.bridgwatercarnival.org.uk). Souvenir calendars for 2022 will also be available to for £5 (+ p&p).
Both the DVDs and calendars can be bought from local carnival club members and from the Carnival Centre, High Street, Bridgwater.
Dave Stokes added: “In the meantime, everybody involved with Bridgwater Carnival hopes to see the carnival we know, expect and love back on the streets of the town on Saturday, November 5, 2022.”