12 November 2009

Carnival time in Somerset

Forget Rio, forget Notting Hill and come to Somerset in November to see the largest illuminated processions in the world.

No, I didn't believe it either when I first went to the Wells carnival (one of a dozen locations in mid-Somerset) - expecting to see a few tractors and trailers with straw bales transporting locals in fancy dress

But I was dazzled, literally, when I first saw these breath-taking parades of around 80 floats (or 'carts' in the local jargon) that are bigger than the average articulated lorry and equipped with elaborate mechanical displays lit up by more light bulbs than you'd see at Blackpool and Morecambe illuminations put together.

Local clubs spend the whole year designing and building these annual challenges to the local health and safety inspectors.

You can find this year's schedule of when and where you can see them and a little more background information HERE.

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