Countdown to Ottery Tar Barrels
OTTERY St Mary s night of flaming fun is nearly upon us once again and organisers are looking forward to welcoming thousands of visitors for a safe and spectacular Tar Barrels event on Thursday (November 5).
OTTERY St Mary's night of flaming fun is nearly upon us once again and organisers are looking forward to welcoming thousands of visitors for a safe and spectacular Tar Barrels event on Thursday (November 5).
Youngsters, men and women are limbering up to hoist flaming barrels onto their shoulders to mark the culmination of a year's preparation and fundraising in the town.
The Junior Barrels will kick off proceedings from 4pm in the Land of Canaan.
A massive bonfire on the Millenium Green will be lit at 6.30pm before the adult's barrels get underway at various locations around Ottery.
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Two women and nine men will take on the flaming barrel challenge this year, which culminates at midnight.
The event is a real family tradition for Carnival Committee chairman Graham Rowland. Mr Rowland, his wife Lesley and children Leanne, 26 and Daniel, 23 have all taken part over the years.
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"I've been doing it for about 40 years since I was a young boy," said Mr Rowland. "It's part of our culture and something we are born and bread to do- it just comes naturally. There is a real camaraderie (among the barrelers) and it definitely gets the adrenaline going. It's a local tradition which is in the town's blood which we have kept alive."
"My family wouldn't miss it for anything."
Carnival Committee secretary Steve Pearcy said: "We are very lucky to have a very supportive insurance company who are very proud to support traditional events, but the costs do go up every year, meaning we need to raise more and more money. Any donations will be welcome.
"Parking is a vital source of funding for us. It is a free evening of entertainment and all we ask is people pay the small amount of around �10 to park, if four people are in a car it isn't that much."
Car parking, run by the local scouts, will be available at The King's School and at the Football Club, with coach parking laid on at Otter Nurseries. All cash raised from parking goes to local organisations to help to pay for the event.
Parking restrictions will be in place during the event, and roads will be closed throughout. Anyone who parks on the roads faces having their car towed away and
clearway parking orders are in place on the Exeter Road from Daisymount to The King's School.
Ottery neighbourhood beat manager PC Phil Thomas said: "We hope people enjoy the event but do ask those who do attend to keep clear of the emergency access routes."
"Our role is to prevent crime and disorder and ensure the safety of everyone. There will be a significant police presence and we will take early and positive action if there are any incidents of disorder.