Bridgwater Carnival is moving into a sustained period of success with the surprise Gold Tourist award, sell out grandstand seats and record numbers of people on the streets.

In a newsletter to the faithful Dave Stokes of the carnival spelt out a series of triumphs which saw the carnival trend on Facebook and enjoy an unseasonably mild and dry evening for the big night last November.

He said: “This year for the first time ever we entered the South West Tourism Excellence Awards and to our surprise won the gold award for the best Tourism Event of the Year, as these awards cover events from Cornwall to Wiltshire and Gloucester this was quite an achievement for Bridgwater Carnival."

Mr Stokes who is the publicity officer for the event said the carnival had continued to grow and become better known nationally attracting visitors from all over the country. Last year he said there were more than 70 coaches that had pre-booked to park with even more expected in 2016.

“We are fortunate that the Arts Council England has now recognised our carnival to be one of the main tourist events in the South West,” he said, “and supported us by financing the daytime entertainment among other things. Long may this continue, but as I am sure you have been told before the carnival gets more expensive to run each year so financing is important. We had a successful year in 2015 but despite our efforts we were hit by rising costs; we are now working with our suppliers to fix prices for several years to keep costs down where possible.”

One of the big improvements for spectators had been the introduction of more grandstands giving those who want a good view to see the carts roll by without a sea of heads getting in the way.

He said: “The grandstands continue to be popular with 15 grandstands holding 2,240 seats being sold out three weeks before carnival day in 2015. The grandstands are located in Broadway and Mount Street, and if you are ordering seats please indicate which site you would like. Tickets will go on sale from the 1st April at our online shop.”

A new innovation had been the introduction of the hospitality scheme which offered a type of VIP way of seeing the carnival. This scheme said Mr Stokes included parking, a meal, a grandstand seat with a good view, as well as a free programme – a scheme that proved popular in its first year with 100 seats sold. The next carnival is on Saturday, November 5.

Did you enjoy the carnival last year? Is there anything that could be improved? Email