ILMISNTER’S spectacular Flag Festival 2024 kicked off the Ilminster Midsummer Experience for the 16th year with more flags than ever.

There are currently 112 flags this year with five new designs.

Every shop frontage in East Street and Silver Street now has one flag with Ditton Street, North Street, and West Street adding to the numbers.

Chard & Ilminster News: A photo taken at last year's eventA photo taken at last year's event (Image: Ilminster Midsummer Experience)

The Minster flags, designed by world-famous stained-glass designer Patrick Reytiens and his son, John Reytiens, another celebrated stained-glass designer who also has a window in the Minster, are flying in the Minster grounds.

Ilminster Midsummer Experience 2024 is being held over the weekend of 8 – 9th June with many events starting on Saturday 8 with the traditional Food and Craft Market in Silver Street and the in the Market House with over 35 stall-holders.

A spokesperson said: “We are also pleased to welcome the Taunton Deane Morris side who are celebrating their 50th year, together with Sweet Coppin Ladies Clog Dance team and the (mixed) West Somerset Morris.

“There will be the wonderful Community Drive in Herne View Primary school where local charities strut their stuff.

“There is the Whitelackington Art Show in the Church Rooms showing wonderful affordable local art.

“On Sunday, June 9, there will be up to 300 vehicles present at the Classic Vehicle Show on the Recreation Grounds together with a Family Dog Show, Food Court, and large marquee with a bar and food, children’s games and rides, a band tent featuring music from 10am including the superb Phoenix Brass Band from 1pm, and so much more with majorettes, and face painting.

“Of course, there is the Strolling Garage Sale, Photographic Competition, and the brilliant Scarecrow Competition.

“So come to Ilminster now to see the flags and on the weekend of June 7-9.”

The Ilminster Midsummer Experience website explains: “We are fortunate that the town’s medieval road layout, which hugs closely to the 15th century Minster church, dramatically emphasises the effect of the flags and brings vibrancy and colour to the town.

Chard & Ilminster News: Another photo from last year's eventAnother photo from last year's event (Image: Ilminster Midsummer Experience)

“The Flag Festival grew out of an idea from one of the town’s artists. 

“We were able to commission a flag-maker to work with children from Greenfylde School to design the original 20 flags.

“These were so successful that the following year we invited businesses to contribute to their own flag and the majority of businesses in town now have a flag – some even have two.”

The Flag Festival will run until, June 23.