On Saturday the 4th of November Bridgwater will once again play home to the infamous Guy Fawkes carnival. The carnival has been running for over 400 years and is one of the largest and most impressive carnivals in the world. The carnival has grown year on year and now celebrations last for over two weeks with the main event on the Saturday.
The Grand Firework Display
On the Friday proceeding the Saturday carnival there is a giant firework display at St Matthews field. The firework display is accompanied by fair rides and a children’s lantern parade. The firework displays are absolutely stunning and one of the best in the country outside of the New Year’s displays in London and Edinburgh.
The Bridgwater Carnival Concert
The Bridgwater carnival concert runs from Monday the 2nd of October until Saturday 14th of October. The carnival concert showcases all the carnival clubs practicing their dance routines and putting on a fantastic show for everyone. There are acts from all of the 13 carnival clubs and 2 dance troupes as well as singing, music and magic tricks between sets. The concert serves as a warm up act for the carnival itself and its great fun to watch the acts dancing on stage.
The concert starts at 7pm on weekdays and 6pm at the weekends. The concert sells out every year so make sure to book as quickly as possible.
The concert has a panel of judges who rate all of the acts to determine the best front of curtain acts each year.
The Bridgwater Carnival Procession
The main event itself starts at on Saturday and the procession runs for 2 miles and takes over 2 hours to pass any point on the parade route. The parade features over 117 entries including floats as well as groups, clubs and dancers. The parade starts at 7pm but you’ll need to find a spot well before as tens of thousands of people descend on Bridgwater for the parade and all the major roads are closed from 6pm.
One of the oddest traditions of the festival is the squibbing display which takes place straight after the procession finishes. This exists only in Bridgwater and is well worth coming to the carnival for. A squibber holds a large firework strapped to a cosh which essentially a wooden pole! Squibbers light their fireworks and hold them in the air. The squibbing takes place in Bridgwater high street which will be packed for the display. The carnival is the most popular event in Bridgwater each year – even bigger than the September fair. We look forward to welcoming our guests to the Apple Tree Hotel for the festivities and we’ll see you all at the Carnival.