BRIDGWATER’S biggest, brightest and boldest weekend of the year is once again upon us.

For a matter of hours on Saturday evening, Bridgwater will be transformed into an all-singing, all-dancing spectacle, illuminating the cold November night with the world famous procession that makes our town the home of carnival.

Carnival is the culmination of a year’s worth of work by hundreds of people, all in their spare time, putting together a dazzling procession filled with incredibly crafted carnival carts, colourful costumes and rounded off with one of the world’s most spectacular fireworks displays, squibbing.

The biggest change for this year’s Bridgwater Guy Fawkes Carnival is the change of start time - which has been brought forwards by one hour to 6pm.

The move follows feedback from spectators and other carnival stakeholders after last year’s big procession, when extended delays caused by cart breakdowns saw the carnival celebrations continue later than originally planned.

As well as offering a number of transport infrastructure related benefits, an earlier start for the town’s 2019 carnival on Saturday will be welcomed by many watching spectators and especially those with young families.

Dave Croker, chairman of Bridgwater Guy Fawkes Carnival committee, said: “We are always looking at ways of continually improving the Bridgwater Carnival experience, and the principle of starting the procession earlier was first suggested by members of the public after they completed online feedback forms following our 2018 carnival.

“As the carnival is a live show, there will always be a risk of some small delays and cart breakdowns.

“However, last year’s delays were unprecedented and many spectators ended up having to leave before the procession had finished in order to catch their transport home.

“So by moving the start time forward to 6pm it should allow all of our spectators to have the opportunity to watch the two hour carnival procession and the squibbing display before it gets too late and before the last trains and coaches leave the town.”

The proposed time change, which is being discussed with the local authorities and emergency services, will also mean the pre-procession begins at 5.30pm.

It also means that the squibbing display which traditionally signifies the end of the carnival celebrations could take place 30 minutes after the carnival procession has finished.

You will be able to vote for your favourite entry in the 2019 Bridgwater Carnival procession by downloading the CarniApp, which is available for Android and iOS (Apple) mobile devices.

You can vote for the People’s Choice award between the hours of 6pm on carnival day until midday on Sunday, November 3.

The App also provides you with the procession route, a list of entries and sponsors and the opportunity to make a donation.