TWELVE months ago, the county was all set for carnival season.

There was a week of activities in Ilminster as the town celebrated the children's carnival, followed by the main event the following weekend.

The crowds were due to descend on the market town again, but plans for Somerset's celebrations were cancelled as the coronavirus pandemic hit the country.

But the annual event's organised did not give up, and instead have organised a series of carnival-themed virtual events instead.

Brad Amor, of the Ilminster Carnival Committee, said: "Unfortunately, this year’s Ilminster Carnival and Children’s Carnival could not take place due to Covid-19.

"However, we still wanted to celebrate the carnival in some form, and over the last few months we have been doing various online activities for the public to take part in and to help raise money for the carnival committee."

Among of the running activities have been Guess the Entry Quizzes. Each week, the committee has cropped 10 photographs of Ilminster Carnival entries, and challenged the public to identify the entry.

The quizzes, along with multiple choice answers, can still be found at

Also, over the last two months, the organisers have been running a competition called ‘The Best of Ilminster Carnival 2009 – 2019’, to find the public's favourite entry from the past decade.

Each week, a new poll has been launched with people picking their top entry.

The contest has been timed so the final results will be announced on carnival weekend.

The 2019 winners vote closes at 10pm on Saturday (September 26).

The final overall winners vote opens at 7.30pm on Sunday (September 27) and closes at 10pm next Friday (October 2).

The Best of Ilminster Carnival winner will then be revealed live on Facebook from 6pm on October 3.

Mr Amor added: "We have now taken the winning entry from each year and have put them all in one final poll where we are asking the public to vote for their overall favourite Ilminster Carnival entry, the winning entry will be crowned The Best of Ilminster Carnival.

"We will post the link to vote on our social media pages or you can vote via our website."

The first weekend of October will also feature two videos celebrating Ilminster Carnival entries since 2009.

They will both be streamed on the Facebook page as well, with a 2009-2013 film running from 8pm on Friday, October 2.

The second video, for 2014-2019, and will start at 7.15pm on October 3.

"On Saturday, at 8.15pm, there will also be a Carnival SpeedQuiz," Mr Amor added.

"This quiz has kindly been organised by DJ Ginge who had been doing lots of virtual quizzes over the last couple months.

"The money raised from this quiz will be given to the carnival committee to help ensure the future of Ilminster Carnival."

Throughout lockdown, the Ilminster Carnival Committee has been running a JustGiving page to ensure the parade can return next year.

If you would like the support the iconic annual event, you can donate at

Mr Amor said: "Thank you to everyone who has donated so far and we hope lots of people will join our live streams over the weekend.

"For more information on all of the virtual events, visit our Facebook page at ‘Ilminster Carnival Committee’.

"Hopefully we will see you all next year at Ilminster Carnival 2021.”