AN 'iconic' annual event held in Somerset has come to an end after over 37 years delighting attendants and raising money for charity.

Dunster by Candlelight will not return in 2024, after a decision was made to end the event at a committee meeting on Monday, December 18.

A spokesperson for the event said: "Over the years it provided fun for everyone but it was a victim of its own success, and all good things come to an end.

"The feedback on this year's event has been very positive - it's good to go out on a high.

"We are all very sad but we know that since it started Candlelight has helped not only the local economy but various local charities and it has raised well over £200,000 for St Margaret’s Hospice.

"From very humble beginnings it became famous, filmed by the BBC and featured in several glossy magazines.

"Sally Mann, our entertainment co-ordinator, found us many great artists.

"It also put Dunster ‘on the map’, bringing people back throughout the year.

"A big ‘thank you’ to all those people who became involved and helped in many different ways - we are sure something new will take its place to keep Christmas and Dunster bright and cheerful."

Some of the local traders who helped support the event, which was free to attend, are not happy with the decision.

A spokesperson for Dunster Living Interior Shop said: "We are astounded to hear that Dunster by Candlelight committee has decided to throw in the towel and not organise this iconic event in the future anymore.

"Dunster by Candlelight is an event loved by thousands of visitors and locals alike, and we hope that it would be taken on by a professional event organiser who would allow new, fresh ideas to be introduced into the concept. Like one shell-shocked trader said today, 'DBC is an institution which makes Dunster magical'."

On social media, the admin of Dunster's official Facebook page shared their thoughts, speaking on behalf of other local business owners: "This is very, very sad news - but on behalf of Dunster traders, I want to thank all the organisers and volunteers over the years who created such a magical event for the village."