THE biggest night in the Bridgwater calendar is nearly upon us - and everything is in place for one of the UK’s most amazing spectacles.

Thousands of people from far and wide will descend on the town to watch the action.

Throughout the day there will be live music in all sorts of styles from samba bands, to motown, big band, ska and even Bolivian folk.

There are also dancers, acrobatics, jugglers, Punch and Judy, street theatre, a plethora of food stalls and this all before the procession itself.

If this year’s Carnival Concerts acted as a preview for this year’s procession we are in for a real treat this year.

With the variety of themes audiences will be taken on a global and historical journey as they watch the carts before them.

READ MORE: Fireworks will get the Bridgwater Carnival underway

Visitors will see efforts paying homage to Aztecs, Maori and native Americans, travel back in time to the English Civil War, meet pirates and chimney sweeps, and much much more.

In the Carnival Concerts the Renegades Carnival Club won the top prize but will they be able to take home the trophy at the carnival itself?

Or will last year’s victors the Gremlins manage to retain the crown?

All of this will be rounded off the unique squibbing display.

These giant fireworks used be made in homes throughout the town but are now produced to a secret formula by leading firework manufacturers especially for Bridgwater Carnival.

READ MORE: Click here for your Bridgwater Carnival 2017 procession route map

Carnival president Malcolm Cattle said: “Bridgwater Carnival is one of the greatest show’s on earth and I really hope everyone enjoys Saturday’s parade.

"It promises to be truly spectacular.

"I do hope people will donate generously to the carnival collection, it really does make a difference when it comes to putting together such an event.”

You can trace the development of Bridgwater Guy Fawkes Carnival from 1847, making it the oldest event of its kind in the United Kingdom.

Following a riot at the 1880 celebrations, a letter was written by Frank Squire to the Bridgwater Mercury suggesting a controlling committee be formed and an annual procession organised so that citizens in other parts of the town could witness the magnificent costumes which were, by now, a major feature in the festivities.

Frank’s suggestion received substantial support and the following year, 1881, the first carnival committee was formed.

  • You will be able to follow live blog of Bridgwater Carnival on the Bridgwater Mercury website, updating you with interviews, video and pictures and more.

READ MORE: Youngsters ready for Bridgwater Carnival dance procession

Bridgwater Mercury: Park and ride scheme scoops award

VISITORS to the carnival will once again be able to use park and ride services to make their journey as easy as possible.

The Buses of Somerset will operate services from three locations outside the town.

They are:

  • Just off junction 23 of the M5, near British Car Auctions (TA6 4TN) 
  • Just off junction 24 of the M5, near Junction 24 Ltd (TA6 6DF)

Both services will be running from 2pm.

  • A service from the Morrison’s Distribution Centre, use junction 23 of the M5 (TA6 4AT), will run from 11am.

Park and Ride charges are £5 per car, plus £1 per adult travelling.

“This service will be available from the times advertised above as being open, with the first bus leaving when full, the buses will run a regular service both ways until 11.30pm when the last bus leaves the pick-up point,” a spokesman said.

All of the sites will be signposted from the M5 junctions around Bridgwater.

READ MORE: Carnival mask trail across Bridgwater

Bridgwater Mercury: Putney Bridge Road closed after bike crash

A NUMBER of roads will be closed and parking restrictions in force during the carnival. Below is a guide to where you can - and can’t - go...

Saturday, November 4:
6.30am: Parking restrictions come into force.

8am: The Northbound side of Parkway, from the junction with Westonzoyland Road to north of Bincombe Road will be closed and a contraflow will be installed on part of the southbound carriageway.
Cornhill, York Buildings and High Street will close to enable street entertainment to take place in High Street and on Cornhill.

10am: Parkway Northbound, Wyndham Road and Frederick Road from Wyndham Road to Parkway will be closed to enable the procession to line up. 
Access to Fairfax Road will be maintained at the junction with Parkway and access will also be maintained to Sydenham Close, Charlton Close and Bincombe Road for residents.

Noon: Knowle Road and Trevor Road will close to enable the walking entries to assemble.
Lane 1 of Broadway from Friarn Street to the junction with Taunton Road will be closed to facilitate the arrival of the grandstands.
Lane 1 of Broadway from Taunton Road to before the junction with Albert Street will be closed.

2pm: Broadway (northbound) from Salmon Parade; Monmouth Street (Northbound) and Blake Place (at the junction of Monmouth Street) will be closed.
Lane 1 of Monmouth Street will remain closed. 
The diversion route for northbound traffic will be via Salmon Parade, East Quay, Wylds Road and The Drove to Bristol Road.

5pm: In preparation for the closure of Broadway at 6pm, lane 3 of Taunton Road inbound on the approach to the traffic lights at the junction with Broadway will be closed.

6pm: Closure points will be installed throughout the town centre and surrounding areas.

Post Procession:
Following the procession, a number of closure points will be installed to assist with the passage of the procession and the departure of the crowds from the town.

All roads are set to re-open by around 1am on Sunday morning.