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Bridgwater Carnival returns to Somerset this weekend

The Bridgwater Carnival is said to attract more than 150,000 visitors yearly. Photo: ITV West Country

The Bridgwater Guy Fawkes Carnival in Somerset, which attracts over a 150,000 people to the town each year, will be taking place on Saturday 4 November.

The celebration dates back to the Gunpowder Plot of 1605 and its purpose is to raise money for local charities.

Bridgwater marks the start of the Somerset County Guy Fawkes Carnivals - this is the biggest circuit that most of the clubs work up to.

The Wessex Circuit (including Shafestbury, Gillingham, Wincanton etc.) and the South Somerset circuit (including Taunton, Wellington, Chard, Ilminster etc.) have now finished.

The carnival's purpose is to raise money for local charities. Credit: ITV West Country

Organisers say a lot of work is done to to put the carnival together from the engineering and woodwork, to the painting.

The clubs involved not only include those based in Somerset, but also from Devon and Dorset. As well as the big, illuminated carts, there are also walking and individual entries.

£4mil
is the estimated boost to the economy the carnival gives.
The carnival is said to add £4million to the local economy. Credit: ITV West Country

There are different types of carts, including feature carts, where there are lots of moving parts and people dancing, and 'Tableau' carts, which is a static show with people frozen in positions.

Each carnival will pick winners and overall prizes will be handed out in a big awards evening after the Guy Fawkes circuit has finished.

The carnival brings a lot of competition. Last month, at Bridgwater Town Hall, the Renegades won the annual carnival warm-up for the first time and are now hoping to take that success to the procession.

We have had a really successful CarnivalConcerts so we're feeling an excitable amount of pressure because people are anticipating us to have put equal amount of effort into the cart, which we have. But Saturday night is such a hit and miss - we think we're prepared, we think we're ahead but it's such a make or break night as is all the carnivals that we do so we're really excited but nervous at the same time."

– Katie Williams, Renegades Carnival Club Captain

Spectators say the cart-building site is almost like a little village - all to be revealed this weekend.