Western Daily Press (Saturday) - - Front Page - MICHAEL TAY­LOR news@west­erndai­ly­

BRIDG­WA­TER Car­ni­val kicks off tonight and is set to daz­zle crowds with its colour­ful carts. Known as The Guy Fawkes Car­ni­val, this year’s event is ex­pected to at­tract more than 100,000 peo­ple to Bridg­wa­ter from around the West County, Bri­tain and abroad.

The his­toric car­ni­val – which dates back as early as 1847 – is now fa­mous as the big­gest il­lu­mi­nated pro­ces­sion in Europe.

The main pro­ces­sion will see carts fol­low a 1.7 mile route through the town, tak­ing ap­prox­i­mately two hours to com­plete.

The start of pro­ces­sion will be­gin at 7pm at Bath Road be­fore pass­ing through the Cross Ri­fles Round­about, Mon­mouth Street, Broad­way, Taun­ton Road Junc­tion, St Mary Street, Corn­hill, High Street, Penel Or­lieu, Mount Street and then North­gate.

The car­ni­val or­gan­is­ers have con­firmed the route will be same as pre­vi­ous years mean­ing you can still stand at your pre­ferred spot with friends or fam­ily.

But if you want to get the best views, you must ar­rive early to beat the queues and avoid fighting your way to­wards the front.

Spec­ta­tors can ex­pect at least 40 il­lu­mi­nated carts – each up to 30 me­tres long – packed with lights and dancers per­form­ing as well as mu­si­cal acts.

The large ve­hi­cles pay homage to pop­u­lar chil­dren’s books and films, his­tor­i­cal mo­ments and places.

The car­ni­val ends with the fa­mous act of squib­bing – where a group of peo­ple light stout poles in the shape of brooms and fire­works shoot out.

The act is in cel­e­bra­tion of Guy Fawkes and his co-con­spir­a­tors fail­ing to blow up the Houses of Par­lia­ment.

This year’s event will start at 6:35pm – with a car­ni­val pre-pro­ces­sion – and will end roughly around 10.30pm.

The Grand Squib­bing Dis­play will start 15 min­utes af­ter the pro­ces­sion fin­ishes at ap­prox­i­mately 10.45pm.

There are lim­ited car park­ing op­tions in Bridg­wa­ter but your best bet is to park in the larger St Matthews Field and Bridg­wa­ter College car parks.

Mo­torists trav­el­ling through Som­er­set on the M5 this week­end are be­ing warned of con­ges­tion be­cause of the event.

Driv­ers are also ad­vised that ac­cess into Bridg­wa­ter from Junc­tion 24 will be closed from 6pm tonight.

Gareth Price, High­ways Eng­land emer­gency plan­ning of­fi­cer for the South West, said: “The car­ni­val is a pop­u­lar event in the South West and can lead to in­creased traf­fic vol­umes be­tween Junc­tions 24 and 23 of the M5, par­tic­u­larly be­tween 5pm and 7pm and from 9pm on­wards.

“We ad­vise all peo­ple plan­ning to use the M5 on Satur­day evening to al­low ex­tra time for their jour­neys, lis­ten out for ra­dio up­dates and to check our traf­fic and travel in­for­ma­tion chan­nels.”

See Mon­day’s Western Daily Press for the best of the pic­tures and news from the week­end’s big event.

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