They came from Canada, Australia, China, Italy and even Wales. Thousands of people attended the carnival in Bridgwater after hearing about it through the media or the internet. And for many it was their first experience. Outside the Cobblestones pub people spoke to the Mercury about the event as it happened.

Lyn Shepherd from Birmingham and her cousin and daughter had come to see the procession. She said: “They’ve seen it before and they are amazed by it. It’s fantastic. They’ve come down especially.”

James Pearce from Manchester said: “It’s fantastic, I’m really impressed as we don’t have anything like this except for two football teams. I came down by train to see it as I’d heard so much about it.”

Sam Smith said: “I left Bridgwater in 1996 and moved to Devon but I come back every year with my friends for the carnival. I wouldn’t miss it for the world. My friends Yvonne and Jane said it was something only heard about so had to come.”

Meanwhile outside the Mansion House more views on the carnival were voiced. Tim Mander of the Czech Bridgwater Friendship Group said: “We have the mayor of the Czech twin town of Uherske Hradiste here Cllr Stanislav Blaha, two policemen from his town and Luigi Teodonio of the Bridgwater Priverno link society from Italy.”

Speaking through an interpreter Mr Stanislav Blaha said: “It’s a very big opportunity to see the carnival for us and it’s a really good event.”
The Italian visitor Mr Teodonio said: “It’s really amazing for me as this is my first time in Bridgwater and it’s incredible. It was a fantastic show with the light and sound. And it was amazing to see how many people collaborate and cooperate with each other to put on the carnival.”

Toby from Exeter said he had travelled down by train to Bridgwater as it was just a short walk to the carnival. He said: "It's unique, it's brilliant. The lighting systems and the way the carts are built is a tribute to British engineering. There should be an exhibition to show how these things are built. I'll be back next year."

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