Brilliant day as crowds flock to Market & Carnival

Wow what a brilliant day as the Street Market & Carnival hit the streets of Wiveliscombe on the Festival’s first Sunday, when well over 3,000 people flocked to the town – and a superb holiday atmosphere reigned.

Brightly coloured awnings and bunting decorated the town, with West Street closed to traffic as crowds thronged to visit over 60 colourful stalls selling everything from specialty breads to three tier chocolate cakes, venison burgers to colourful flower bouquets, jewellery to vintage furniture to organic vegetables.

Music played all day in the Jubilee Gardens as people relaxed and listened to non-stop music and the sounds of 10 Radio, while local shops and cafes specially opened for the day and enjoyed a roaring trade. Artists’ venues were thrown open and also reported tremendous interest from visitors.

At 3pm Skintight Samba and Tim Hill’s Big Noise accompanied the Carnival procession all through the town, before Taunton Deane Mayor, Cllr Libby Lisgo, judged the creative young entrants and awarded the winners.

“It was our best Festival Street Market yet,” said Director Pauline Homeshaw. “We estimate numbers were well up again with over 3,000 visitors at least, the weather was kind to us, the Carnival was delightful – the whole day had a wonderful, festive atmosphere. And there’s more still to come!”

From young to older, artists and craftspeople reported an excellent start to the nine day Festival – painter John Abrahams, who returned to art after a 50 year gap and is sharing a venue at The Bear Inn Skittle Alley with four other artists and photographers, reported over 200 visitors in just five hours, while young sculptor Jessica Weetch, 17, exhibiting for the first time, along with five other artists at café-restaurant This is Moorish, was thrilled with a £150 sale in the first three hours of opening (see more about her here).

* There’s still a whole week of wonderful Festival events right up to Sunday September 15, from exhibitions to music to drama and poetry. Visit online guide here or pick up a printed Guide at the Wiveliscombe Community Office, at 01984 624777, email

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