THE sun was shining again, but this year’s Ilminster Midsummer Experience saw organisers go online in their bid to bring the town together.

Previous few years has seen one of the town’s biggest events blessed with sunshine and large crowds.

With the ongoing lockdown restrictions imposed by the government, IMEx 2020 was initially cancelled by those behind the scenes.

But as the date drew nearer, the coronavirus social distancing measures started to be relaxed.

This caused a lightbulb to go off for event leader Mike Fry-Foley, and his hard-working team sprung into action.

“The genesis of all this was that restrictions were just starting to relax a little, and it suddenly dawned on me that we could put up the flags, if the lights volunteers were willing to do it for us,” said Mike.

“They agreed, and then I thought we might be able to do something else and someone suggested a virtual IMEx.”

Keen to let everyone remember the relaxed and joyous atmosphere of 12 months ago, Mike brought together much of the entertainment on the Ilminster Experience website.

“It turned out there were a lot of things that we were able to do,” Mike added.

“I asked the majorettes if they would like to do a link through to their page to show the kind of things they do.

“Then I asked the brass band and the food vendors and the craft guys to do it as well, and they were all more than happy to.”

There is even a host of ‘virtual stalls’ for the Community Drive, raising awareness of charities.

Mike said: “It was really an exercise in keeping up the profile of the of the event going. It is also good to raise the profile of those other groups.

“Certainly as far as vendors are concerned, they are really struggling, and we like to keep a good relationship going.”

Ilminster Experience’s next event is helping with the running of the Victorian Evening, which they hope will be able to go ahead safely later this year.

Beyond that, Mike already has his eyes on IMEx 2021.

He added: “We are certainly coming back and doing it again. I think we need some new people to come up with some new ideas.

“The event itself is very successful, and there are a whole list of things we could do, but we would benefit from someone else coming in with a good idea and saying they would be willing to make it happen as well.”

For more, visit