Photo by Carly Dutton (See gallery below for more)
For many Somerset residents November is a month that brings one of the highlights of the year. It’s carnival season and although events similar to our own take place throughout the country, the Somerset carnivals held in seven of our towns are by far the biggest, attracting in excess of 500,000 spectators from the local area and beyond. The history dates back over 400 years as annual celebrations like our carnivals were initially held to mark Guy Fawkes’ failed attempt to blow up parliament. To this day it remains an important set of events for our community as the clubs that make up the Somerset Carnivals Association pull together to provide wonderful evenings of entertainment that funds donations to local charities and gives others a much needed boost.
The Somerset Carnivals Association’s research shows that over 10,000 local people are indirectly involved in these events with a further 3,000 being directly linked. For many of us the night itself is a time shared with the family, others see it as a night out that diverts from the usual, for younger generations it can act as a reunion with people who have moved away, but for those involved it’s the culmination of a lot of hard work. Float construction starts in June, deconstruction ends in February, and in between there’s relentless fundraising, planning and rehearsals. It’s said that the average member dedicates 1000 hours to their club per year!
Masqueraders is just one of the carnival clubs that makes up the association. Based in Meare, they, like every other club, aim to provide a focal point and sense of direction for the community, create a working group that doesn’t discriminate against anyone, teach its members new skills and raise money for local charities. The latter is achievable through street donations at each event, but to do this in the first place roughly £25,000 has to be raised by each club to get the show on the road (pardon the pun).
Now it’s over for another year, but as it’s important to many of our Somerset based readers, Carly Dutton sent in a collection of photographs from this year’s event just so that we can share them with you…
Review: Snail Mail at Thekla - earnest indie rock for a new generation Read more
Review: 'The King' - entertainingly novel, if slightly misfiring, doc on the life of Elvis Presley Read more
Review: Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds and Paul Weller at The Downs Festival Read more
Preview: The Downs, Bristol returns with most impressive line up to date Read more
Review: Echo & The Bunnymen top nostalgic bill for opening Skyline Series show Read more
Review: Bristol Comedy Garden '18 is in full bloom on final day Read more
Review: The laughs return to Queen Square as Bristol Comedy Garden '18 opens Read more
Review: Cracking into the live music monster at Dot To Dot '18 Read more
Preview: Dot To Dot 2018 - Our Top 5 Picks Read more
Review: Undersong at Barton Hill Settlement, Mayfest Read more
Doug Hream Blunt brings his unique funk to Mayfest @ The Cube with some new friends Read more
Review: Drenge host boisterous Grand Reopening at The Lantern Read more
Review: Czech National Orchestra deliver Jaws in Concert at Colston Hall Read more
Review: Score - an enjoyable celebration of Hollywood's unsung heroes Read more
Review: Fredo's post-snowpocalyptic sell-out at Marble Factory Read more
Review: The Mavericks' kick off European tour with sparkling Colston Hall performance Read more
Review: Mac Demarco and a night of introspective hedonism at O2 Academy Read more
Review: 'The Work' - uncompromising account of gruelling Folsom Prison rehabilitation Read more