Friday, November 27, 2009

West Country carnival


The West Country Carnival is an annual celebration in SW England which features a parade of illuminated floats . The first celebration was held 404 years ago, to mark the Gunpowder Plot of 1605. It started as a procession with wax torches and over time evolved into a series of fabulous nighttime parades.


There are at least two different circuits that I'm aware of, one in Wessex and another in Somerset. The Somerset one (also known as the Bridgwater circuit) is by common admission the better one, with a larger number of illuminated floats, whereas the Wessex carnival has more walking entries.


There are more than 100 floats in the Somerset carnival. They move to a different location every day until they have appeared in 8 separate local carnivals, namely in Bridgwater, North Petherton, Highbridge & Burnham, Shepton Mallet, Midsommer Norton, Wells, Glastonbury and Weston-super-Mare. The photos are from this year's Weston-super-Mare finale.


There are two types of float, tableaus (motionless pose) and features (dancing and movement). I've already shown you pictures of the best tableau (To The Trees) so for this post I have used only pictures of features, namely Parade, Check Mate and Joust. Gremlins CC's Joust and To The Trees were voted joint overall champions by the judges. According to the local press, Joust took 12 months to construct and features 20,000 lights.


If you're interested, you can see (lots) more photos of the carnival on my Flickr account. I took 600 in total, and of those 436 made the Flickr mark.

15 comments:

Puss-in-Boots said...

I'm a sucker for parades and decorated floats and that looks just wonderful. Thanks for the post and photos.

Shionge said...

Hey I have never seen this before and they are gorgeous :D Thanks for sharing Tinsie :D

Tinsie said...

You're both very welcome! Glad you liked the photos :-)

Per Stromsjo said...

600, eh? Phew! On a busy day, I might take 250 out of which no more than 50 get saved. The rest are deleted, no mercy.

Tinsie said...

I've got to be more like you. I've got to be more like you. I've got to be more like you.

Jacob said...

This is amazing! I've been a fan of the Rose Parade since a kid in the late 1940's...but this is an extravagant display of light and color.

Great photos, too!

Tinsie said...

Thank you! I don't know about the Rose Parade, but the Somerset illuminated carnivals are truly something else. Well worth seeing.

Mo said...

Looks like a great event

Gena D said...

Great to have such vibrant events, hey?! Lovely, lovely pics!!!

Karen said...

I've been over to look at these at least half a dozen times already. I think my brain is fried from company and I can't think of an intelligent thing to say. I guess you could just take my repeated drive-bys as a compliment of the highest order.

:-)

JM said...

All shots are fantastic! Well done, Tinsie!

palmtreefanatic said...

wow! wow wow! Thats amazing!

GMG said...

Hi Tinsie! 600? I wonder how many you will take when you make it to the true Carnival in Rio... ;))

There is a weird bridge waiting for you at Blogtrotter. Enjoy and have a great weekend!!

Tinsie said...

Thank you guys, I'm glad you liked the photos :-)

@ GMG: I don't think I can afford Rio, I'd need far too many memory cards and batteries to do it justice!!

exposemaximum said...

i guess you must have a blast there