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Daniel Holt Photography
CISPP Supporting the Future of Carnivals


The Carnivals In Somerset Promotion Project (CISPP) was formed early in 2009 by a small group of carnival folk who were

very concerned that the unique heritage of our Somerset Illuminated Carnivals could be lost in the future unless efforts

were made to encourage more people to take part.

Huge amounts of funds have been spent nationwide on “Outdoor Celebratory Events” but carnival clubs and town

Committees, all bar a couple,  have been told we do not qualify for grants because we do not employ people or want to

build/conserve buildings.   We have however, gained recognition from the Arts Council SW and continue to receive their

Support and will continue to seek out new available funding to make sure the carnival heritage of Somerset continues.

Traditional Somerset carnivals have been overlooked as a  valuable community resource, which voluntarily provides

training and acquisition of many skills for people of all ages.  Skills used in carnival is not unlike a complete project, from

sketched cart ideas, costume design, electrics and electronics, painting and artwork, sewing, carpentry, welding, every little

detail is important to the final product.

The key is promotion through Education and Marketing, by being involved with schools encouraging children to learn about its heritage and by attending local events with the Promotion van.


Cispp can offer primary schools an exhibition showing how carnivals evolved in our part of the world. We can tell the story of the history of our carnivals beginning with  

Guy Fawkes and the Gunpowder Plot of 1605.

We can tell the history of your local carnival covering how people all over England welcomed back the troops from the First World War.

We can talk about having fun at today’s carnivals covering the safety aspects of

why the barriers are there and why we should stay behind them. Who are the people wearing bright yellow jackets are and what they do, when and where we should throw our coins and the consequences of running out into the road to pick up coins that have missed the collection vehicles.

We can bring costumes for the children to dress up in and objects from carnival floats for the children to handle and look at, as well as show many photographs and videos.

If your school has carnival projects we can also do a presentation on how we build carts and how we design costumes.

We have also hepled schools with projects such as :-

“Light” ( where we were able to show the children how a generator works and we produce light on the carnival carts)

“Brazil” – where we looked at how our carnivals differ from the Rio carnivals. We also took in some beautifully made costumes for the children to look at and made up a Samba dance.

“Clothes” – where we looked at different clothes we wear for different occasions/jobs. The children were able to look at our carnival costumes and dress up.