WITH just under a week until the carnival comes to town, the final countdown has begun to Bridgwater Carnival 2016.

For the carnival clubs who are working around the clock to finish their spectacular entries, to the carnival organisers who are finalising the arrangements for the town’s biggest night of the year, the preparations are nearing completion and the anticipation is increasing.

Bridgwater Carnival’s origins lie in the failed exploits of Guy Fawkes, and in this, the 411th anniversary of these Gunpowder Plot celebrations, Bridgwater Carnival 2016 is set to be the biggest and best one yet.

In recent times traditional community carnival events throughout the country have disappointingly not taken place due to lack of support and resources, and the increasing amount of legislation and insurance premiums.

Thankfully, Bridgwater Carnival has managed to manoeuvre itself through these difficult times, and this is testament to the town’s dedicated carnivalites and the invaluable support received from Arts Council England and many other businesses and organisations from across the county.

On carnival day itself, the build up to the grand procession starts in the town centre at 10am, and carnival revellers will scarcely have time to pause for breath.

There is just so much happening in the town centre with fun planned for the whole family.

The main carnival procession starts at 7pm and will be led by the carnival committee’s official Guy Fawkes cart which has been sponsored by Angel Place Shopping Centre, and a 14ft effigy of Guy Fawkes made from willow by the Somerset Willow Company.

More than 100 entries will follow, including 46 illuminated carnival carts, and all will enthral the tens of thousands of people expected to line the procession route.

The entertainment will be brought to a fitting finale when over 150 squibbers line the town’s High Street immediately after the procession for the traditional squibbing display, which has been sponsored this year by National Tyres and Autocare.

Malcolm Cattle, president of Bridgwater Guy Fawkes Carnival, said he was looking forward to things getting underway after months of preparations.

“This is my first year as president, and after spending over 54 years in carnival, the signs are indicating that the 2016 Bridgwater Carnival is going to be the best one yet,” he said.

“So Saturday, November 5 is the night the carnival comes to town, and I couldn’t be more excited.

“This is a night when you can forget all of your troubles for a few hours, marvel at the incredible sights, and get carried away by the infectious atmosphere.

“It’s an experience where seeing is believing.”