As we enter the beginning of February and with the big day still nine months away, we are already receiving enquiries and bookings from coach companies for our 2024 carnival, writes Bridgwater Carnival publicity director Dave Stokes.

Last year just under 80 coaches and minibuses booked parking for the carnival.

Many of these were from the South West, South Wales and the Midlands, and judging on the interest so far, we should have a similar number or even more at this year’s event on Saturday 2 November.

The cost for coaches to pre-book a parking space near the procession route this year ranges between £50 and £65, depending on the parking location, and  between £35 and £50 for minibuses.

Of course parking space in the town is limited on the night, so we encourage travel companies to book early to avoid disappointment. More information about coach and minibus parking can be found on our official website at

One of the most common questions we are receiving at carnival HQ is when the grandstand tickets for this year are going on sale.

In 2023 all of our 1,954 tickets for the 12 grandstands were snapped up weeks before the carnival, and we are expecting demand to be high again for the increasingly sought after tickets in 2024.

There is only a limited number of companies across the UK who can supply portable grandstands for events like ours, and we are currently holding conversations with those suppliers regarding hire costs and availability.

We are hoping to finalise these discussions in the next couple of weeks, and then we can publicise when the grandstands tickets will be going on sale and their price.

And finally, its lovely to see Clinton Rogers becoming a fellow columnist in the Bridgwater Mercury.

Clinton reported from Bridgwater Carnival on numerous times while he was working as a radio and TV correspondent, and is a very familiar face and voice on the local carnival circuit.

Our paths have crossed many times, and I remember one funny occasion when we were working together on a carnival story at the Bristol Road Carnival site for television a few years back, where I inadvertently ended up being his camera operator.

Clinton had arrived to record his piece for television, which was set to feature on that night’s news. Unbeknown to him and at very late notice, his camera crew had been diverted to cover another breaking news story. 

So rather than miss an opportunity for a carnival news story, Clinton promptly went to his car, pulled out a small camcorder and a tripod, and asked me to be his camera operator and film him while he did his piece to camera. No pressure!

Now using cameras is not a strong point of mine, however my rapidly self-taught skills must have been ok as Clinton’s interview was transmitted on that evening’s regional TV news.

I think you still owe me a beer for that one, Clinton.

Until the next time…