Christmas came early for Highbridge’s Hillview Carnival Club as they wowed the crowd with their take on Yuletide.

Snow fell from the sky and a collection of toy-like children danced on board a giant Christmas cracker fronted by a giant Father Christmas figure.

Entitled It’s A Cracker by the two town’s only carnival club two second spot in the Junior Feature Cart Class 6, pipped at the lightbulb by the Mariana Syndenham club from Bridgwater with their Marine Ahoy entry.

However for many residents It’s A Cracker was just that. A brilliant blend of all things Christmas with the cart even shaped like a cracker constructed as it was in three sections. With a huge rotating Christmas Tree, a wonderfully jovial looking snowman and enough crackers to put the bang into Christmas it was a seasonal medley brought to life with flair.

The children’s costumes added to the theme. There was a Christmas fairy, a toy soldier, a teddy bear, pyjama wearing kids, and even Dickensian figures from a Christmas past. All set to the classic Shakin’ Stevens’ hit Merry Christmas Everyone it was a cart that did the town proud and all those who took part.

The crowds warmed to the music of the carts many who had taken part in the Bridgwater carnival on Saturday and there was no surprise that it was the Gremlins who once again came out on top. Their Lights, Camera, Action bagged the top spot in the Class 6 Feature Mounted Open Cart section whith the Marketeers’ Noah in second. Harlequin’s Foggs World Tour came third and the Ramblers’ Gangs of Gotham were fourth.

Other big winners included Pentathlon in the tableaux with What Lies Beneath, Newmarket’s Oh What A Beauty in the Class 5 Comic Feature and in the masqueraders it was the Vagabonds with The Parade of Ali who won out.

It was a bumper crowd estimated to be in the region of 45,000 that lined the streets from Tesco to Marine Drive, filling every gap and taking every vantage point to see the town’s big show. With 86 entries, 50 carts, enough light bulbs to light up a city on a mild November night the 68th annual Highbridge and Burnham-on-Sea Winter Carnival was a stunning success.