Carnivals around Somerset

Somerset is the carnival county!

There are dozens of spectacular illuminated carnivals, and similar events, every year, and between them they add up to the best show of their kind in the world.

It’s a great evening out for all the family.  The highlight of the whole year is the November Guy Fawkes Carnivals, and these events are coming up soon.

Each takes place in the appropriate town centre, and roads into town will be closed some time in advance.  Get there early, to get parked and get a good place.

These processions of illuminated lorries (called ‘carts’ or ‘floats’) are part of an ancient tradition which stretches back as far as the 1600s when many parts of Somerset commemorated the Gunpowder Plot. Grand fireworks displays and street entertainment add to the sense of fiesta and fun.

The floats can be huge, over 50 feet long and covered in hundreds of lightbulbs. Drawing awe and wonder from the crowds, these floats are the results of months of work by the Carnival Clubs.

Some of the carnivals are larger than others but even in the smaller ones, the ‘walking entries’ provide entertainment and often much hilarity!

Here’s a 2014 list of some of our major carnivals:

Bridgwater – Saturday 1st November
Burnham on Sea – Monday 3rd November
Weston Super Mare – Friday 7th November
North Petherton – Saturday 8th November
Shepton Mallet – Wednesday 12th November
Wells – Friday 14th November
Glastonbury – Saturday 15th November

Further information on Somerset and South West carnivals can be found on the following websites: