This year’s Somerset carnivals have been cancelled due to uncertainty surrounding the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Somerset County Guy Fawkes Carnival Association has this week announced that the seven November processions will not take place.
A statement released by the association states: “Illuminated carnival carts will not be seen on the streets of Somerset for the second successive year as the annual Somerset County Guy Fawkes Carnivals have been postponed until 2022.”
“The difficult and timely decision was taken as the country starts to slowly emerge from the Covid-19 restrictions and follows a meeting of the Somerset County Guy Fawkes Carnival Association (SCGFCA) comprising the seven carnival towns of Bridgwater, Burnham-On-Sea, Weston Super Mare, North Petherton, Shepton Mallet, Wells and Glastonbury) and the three organisations which represents the entries from Bridgwater Gangs & Features, Mid Somerset Gangs & Features, the Associates.”
David Churches, SCGFCA Secretary, adds: “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.”
“Time is not on our side for our carnivals which are held in November, and the lockdown restrictions over the past 12 months have seriously limited the fundraising opportunities for our towns, 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 spectacular events or indeed building the amazing entries we have become accustomed to over the years.”
Annually the seven Somerset County Guy Fawkes Carnivals attract tens of thousands of people from all over the county and world to the streets of Somerset, and raise a huge amount of money for charities and good causes.
“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 carnivals as we know them in 2022,” added David.
A spokesman for Burnham and Highbridge Carnival added that they still hope to mark carnival day with some activity, yet to be announced.