MUSIC, lights and colour will fill Taunton today as the 44th Carnival comes to town.

Around 80 floats and walking entries will fill the street, collecting charity cash for Taunton Albemarle Centre, Clovermarle Stroke club, The Open Door and Taunton Sea Cadets.

Carnival secretary John Lewis said: “If you were one of the spectators disappointed after last week's cancellation of Chard Carnival, come to Taunton where many of the floats will be taking part.”

The procession will be led by the Dolphin Marching Band, leaving Priory Bridge Road at 7pm.

Taking pride of place will be Miss Taunton, Gemma Taunton, the Carnival Queen with Carnival Princess Megan Butler.

Both won their titles in competitions supported by the County Gazette.

Sitting alongside Megan are competition finalists Naomi Baker and Dena-Jade Brooks.

The procession will follow the traditional route along Station Road, Bridge Street, North Street, Fore Street, East Street, East Reach, Chritchard Way and Priory Avenue before dispersing in Priory Bridge Road car park.

Roads in and around the town centre will be closed at 6.30pm so the procession route can be cleared of vehicles.

Police, fire and ambulance will be on the route as well as Carnival marshals to make sure everything runs smoothly.

Chairman Marilyn House said: “On behalf of the Committee I'd like to thank everyone for their efforts, as well as our business supporters round the town.

“Without them none of this would happen. We just need two things on the night to make it all worthwhile - dry weather and a huge collection.”

For any other information, or to lend a hand, contact Marilyn House on 01823-275241 e-mail or secretary, John Lewis on 01823-283892, e-mail

CARNIVAL day will be filled with fun from beginning to end.

A convoy of historic vehicles and Harley Davidsons will make their way through the town centre in the morning, joining a roundabout and tombola stall outside the Market House.

People will be able to enter the Krypton Factor style IQ challenge and musician Denny Blackmore will be performing with his band from 11.30am.

Then youngsters will take centre stage in the afternoon with the Childrens' Carnival.

Entries will meet at Belvedere Road car park at 1.30pm where the Mayor, Miss Taunton and the Carnival Princess will judge their entries.

The procession leaves the car park at 2.30pm behind Wellington Majorettes, to Hammet Street. The Mayor will announce the lucky winners and present their prizes. Entries for the Childrens' Carnival can be taken on the day.

EVERY penny counts is the message to spectators at this year's Taunton Carnival.

The main aim of the Carnival is to raise as much cash as possible for local charities, with Taunton Albemarle Centre, Clovermarle Stroke club, The Open Door and Taunton Sea Cadets all set to benefit this year.

Carnival treasurer Roz Swinburne said: “Show your appreciation of the show by getting rid of all that loose change you've been putting to one side since last October.

“A 50p piece from every spectator, young and old, would bring many thousands of pounds for our charities.

“Although 50p pieces would be nice but really we don't mind how it comes, or how long it takes us to count.

“All the groups will be collecting along with dozens of others. Do your best to give them a busy and successful night.”