The West Country
Fawkes Carnivals or
of Britain's most spectacular festivals. Throughout Somerset and
the adjacent counties the dark autumn evenings become incandesent
from the blaze of thousands of lights as the processions of carnival
floats wend their way through the streets. Some Carnivals also
top-out the illuminations with splendid fireworks displays.
The sheer scale and spectacle, the complexity of
design, the ingenuity and skill of construction, and the creative
energy of the performers, all meld into a truly unique entertainment.
Carnival floats are
not only lit with spectacular patterns of moving lights but will
usually have a musical accompaniment and a cast of costumed carnival
revellers, dancing or in static tableaux formations.
2011 Videos & see the carnival photograph gallery for pictures ›
NEW in 2009 - photographs for more detail, squibbing video
The cart is towed by heavy transport tractors and powered by
industrial-strength generators and - to maintain the quality of
presentation - these too are customised to the same theme and decoration
of the rest of the float.
More about the Guy Fawkes Carnival
Clubs and Circuits ›
The Carnival floats - or 'carts'
are the work of local clubs and societies who work - often in conditions
of secrecy - throughout the year, vying with each other to produce
the most spectacular result. Never has the word 'cart' been more
understated. Floats are judged and prizes awarded for various qualities.
Details of judging classes and criteria ›
The scope and variety of skills which contribute to the design,
building and presentation is prodigious, ranging from heavy duty
mechanical engineering right through to the final detail of a sequin
on a costume. The final product is the end-result of a full year's
effort of planning, construction and fund-raising.