BRIDGWATER Guy Fawkes Carnival, one of the county’s best loved annual events, has been postponed for the second successive year along with all the other Somerset parades.
The difficult decision was taken as the country starts to slowly emerge from the Covid-19 restrictions and follows discussions between Bridgwater Guy Fawkes Carnival Committee, Somerset County Guy Fawkes Carnivals Association, and the entrants.
Dave Croker, chairman of Bridgwater Guy Fawkes Carnival, said: “It was an extremely hard decision for us to make, but in the current financial climate and with so much uncertainty still present in terms of the risk from the virus, we felt this was the most sensible option for us all.
“Time is not on our side for our carnival which was due to be held on Saturday. November 6, and the lockdown restrictions over the past 12 months have seriously limited the fundraising opportunities for us as a committee, our carnival clubs and walking groups.
“When this is combined with the ongoing social distancing arrangements, there is very little chance in raising the necessary monies needed to put on such a spectacular event or indeed building the amazing entries we have become accustomed to at Bridgwater Carnival over the years.”
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 beyond, and raises a huge amount of money for charities and good causes.
“I am sure many members of the public and carnival lovers will be disappointed by this news, and we look forward to welcoming them back to our 2022 illuminated carnival on Saturday, November 5,” added Dave.
“While we are unable to run a carnival in 2021, we may in the meantime, and if conditions allow, look at continuing the carnival tradition this year in a very low key and symbolic way by exploring alternative celebrations. Any such event will be advertised later in the year.”
Earlier this month it was also confirmed the 2021 carnival concerts will not take place due to the pivotal role Bridgwater Town Hall is playing in the town’s Pandemic response arrangements.
The carnival committee, the clubs and other stakeholders are still exploring other options and alternatives.