Organisers of the 10 Parishes festival in Wiveliscombe and its surrounding communities are jubilant after what they described as “a brilliant day” as the Street Market & Carnival took over the centre of Wiveliscombe on the Festival’s first day. Well over 3,000 people are reported to have flocked to the town, creating “a superb holiday atmosphere.”
With West Street closed to traffic and decorated in brightly coloured awnings and bunting, crowds thronged the market. More than 60 colourful stalls sold everything from speciality breads to three-tier chocolate cakes, from venison burgers to bouquets, jewellery, vintage furniture, organic vegetable, oils, crafts…
There was music from bands in the Jubilee Gardens and on 10 Radio and local shops and cafes opened for the day. Artists’ venues reported strong interest from visitors.
As a suitable climax to the day the delightfully quirky entries in the Carnival procession were led through the streets by Skintight Samba and Tim Hill’s Big Noise and judged by Taunton Deane Mayor Libby Lisgo.
“It was our best Festival Street Market yet,” said Director Pauline Homeshaw. “We estimate numbers were well up again, 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!”
“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.”
There’s still a whole week of Festival events, exhibitions, live theatre and circus performances, music, film and poetry, right up to Sunday September 15. Visit online guide here or pick up a printed Guide at the Wiveliscombe Community Office.