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New start point for Taunton Carnival this weekend
THOUSANDS of spectators are expected at Saturday's 47th Taunton Carnival, which follows a shorter route.
The illuminated procession of 80 items starts at 7pm in Tangier Way, led by the Gloster Gladiators Marching Band, making its way along Wood Street, turning into Bridge Street, through the town centre into East Street and down East Reach, with judging at the junction with Wordsworth Drive.
As well as the various floats, there are walking entries, a horse-drawn Western Wedding carriage, the Dolphins Marching Band and troupes of majorettes.
Entrants are competing in a dozen different classes for trophies, with points awarded towards the overall South Somerset Federation prizes.
ROAD CLOSURES AND DIVERSIONS: The Third Way will be closed to traffic between Tangier and Castle Street car parks and down to Lidls from 2pm to allow entries to assemble. Access to Tesco and Lidl will not be affected.
The town centre will be closed at 6.30pm to clear the procession route of traffic before the crowds arrive to line the pavements. Priory Bridge Road will not be closed.
Through traffic is directed away from the centre to keep it moving and keep clear access to Musgrove Park Hospital.
CHARITIES: The carnival has two purposes - entertainment and supporting local charities, with money collected in tins and on the backs of allocated lorries.
Treasurer Roz Swinburne said: “We don't mind what coins or notes come our way, but we need lots of them. We're happy if it takes all day Sunday to count it.
“Our main charities are Apple AM Taunton Hospital Radio, which provides entertainment at Musgrove for patients and staff; ESCAPE Children's Support Group for special children and their families; and Taunton Citizens Advice Bureau."
Gerber Juice has also pledged its support for Taunton Carnival and its drinks will be handed out to Carnival-goers in Somerset County Gazette goody bags at Saturday's event.
The County Gazette trailer will be in High Street during the day, so make sure you seek out your goody bag and Gerber drink, in association with the hit children's TV show LazyTown.