At this time of year, when the evenings are getting longer, something quite magical is happening in our part of the world - it is the time for Carnivals.
The history of West Country Carnivals goes back to 1605, the Gunpowder Plot. It started in Bridgewater, with an effigy of Guy Fawkes being carried through the streets. The lights and illumination did not happen until the late 19th and the start of the 20th century, with the introduction of electric light.
The purpose of the the Carnival Parades is to raise money for local charities. Various groups and clubs, with the help of private donations and sponsorships by local businesses, plan and build their themed floats during the year, each of them also pulling their own generator to power the lights.
Shepton Mallet Carnival did not start until 1963 - 4, with the aim of raising funds for a community hall. There are various carnival circuits, the one our town is on, runs thought out November, visiting towns in our region.
Last Wednesday, as a part of Somerset Carnival season , we were treated to a fantastic spectacle of lights, sound, and movement, lasting nearly 2 hours.
I made a video of the best floats, unfortunately I could not upload it here, so below are just some clips from it. Please make sure you turn the sound on, although it is not very good (only taken with my small pocket camera), but it will you an idea.
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