Somerset's Guy Fawkes carnivals cancelled for the second year in a row

It's Somerset's most popular annual event. Credit: ITV

Somerset's Guy Fawkes Carnival Circuit has been cancelled for the second year in a row as organisers battle with coronavirus uncertainty.

The annual and much-loved event, which kicks off in Bridgwater, is the oldest in the UK and one of the largest illuminated processions in Europe.

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."

Bridgwater Carnival was due to take place on Saturday 6 November with tens of thousands of people expected to be in attendance.

Unique to the town's carnival celebrations is 'squibbing', which famously sees around 150 'squibbers' take to the streets with fireworks lit at the end of long poles.

Tens of thousands of people line the streets of Somerset's towns. Credit: ITV

"Time is not on our side," explained Dave.

"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."

The Carnival Circuit is arguably the county's most popular annual celebration.

Around 100 decorated floats travel through some of Somerset's towns throughout November after months of fundraising and preparation.

"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 5 November," added Dave.

"Whilst we are unable to run a carnival this year 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."

Earlier this month it was also confirmed the 2021 carnival concerts will not take place due to the role Bridgwater Town Hall is playing in the town’s pandemic response.