AFTER a shock carnival cancellation last year, South Petherton's annual celebrations are set to return with a bang this year.

The 2018 event had to be cancelled after the event's committee was left without a chairman after their previous leader stepped down.

With no chairman to go forward and a lack of volunteers, the carnival was cancelled for one of the first times in nearly 40 years.

However, the South Petherton Carnival is set to hit the streets again in September after Heather Thomas, a resident of South Petherton, stepped into the role recently.

Plans are now well underway to make this a blockbuster return for the village event.

Luke Bennett, carnival committee member, said: "The carnival itself brings people together, and is a night where everyone can have fun.

"If you haven't taken part in a carnival before, South Petherton has a great atmosphere.

"The people certainly enjoy their carnival and this is evident from the disappointed comments we received when it was cancelled.

"We really would encourage everyone to come along and join in the fun. If anyone needs advice about entering we are happy to help.

"We look forward to seeing everyone there, and hope for a nice dry evening."

South Petherton's event is now the only illuminated village carnival that takes place in the district.

It started in the 1980s.

Like most carnivals in the area, South Petherton has unfortunately seen a decline in the larger carts taking part, however the 2017 carnival attracted a bumper amount, with more than 30 entries from all over Somerset and Dorset.

Mr Bennett added: "We are looking for anyone who would like to enter our parade, with floats, walking entries, bands and majorettes.

"It is free to enter, with many cash prizes and trophies to be won.

"Entry forms are available from our South Petherton facebook page, or you can pop into the Brewers Arms of South Petherton and ask for more details."

This year the parade will once again be led by the Bournemouth Carnival band who will be playing in the centre of the village prior to the main procession.

The committee is also looking for volunteers to help with events throughout the year, and meet in the Brewers Arms once a month.

This year's event is set to take place from 7.30pm on September 14.

"We are looking to get the support from our local people, and anyone who enters the children's carnivals in the area, to come along and show off your costumes for the people of South Petherton," said Mr Bennett.

"If you are coming along to watch, all donations go back into keeping the carnival going and raising funds for the local community.

"In 2017, we raised well over £3000 for local causes, so it would be a shame to lose our carnival again."

The fun fair will also return on the week of the carnival, and there will be many fundraising activities during the week to help keep the carnival going.