Otterty St Mary all set for famous flaming Tar Barrels

Tar barrels 2015. Ref shs tar barrels 7 NF. Picture: Nigel Fowler.

Tar barrels 2015. Ref shs tar barrels 7 NF. Picture: Nigel Fowler. - Credit: Archant

Excitement is building for the return of Ottery St Mary’s flaming tar barrels tomorrow (Saturday) - with organisers hoping visitors will dig deep to keep the event rolling for years to come.

Large crowds are expected and donations raised from collections will be put towards covering the insurance of the event - which costs £23,000 to put on each year.

Tar Barrels chairman Rob Wickham said the tradition was ‘going strong’, adding: “Preparations are going well - we are looking forward to hopefully a dry night.”

All main roads into the town will be closed at 4pm. A diversion will be in place via Sidmouth Road, through Longdogs Lane, Slade Road, Chineway, Kennaway Road, Higher Ridgeway onto North Street.

Parking is available at sites in Barrack Road, Strawberry Lane, the Finnimore Industrial Estate, Otter Nurseries and Ottery Football Club. Proceeds will boost the event.


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Rob stressed the importance of visitors using the car parks and warned that vehicles left in clearways or unauthorised areas will be towed and civil enforcement officers informed. He addded: “All of the organisations in Ottery benefit from this event. It helps to keep this unique tradition and alive and going.”

Information points are based at Frockalicious and next to the Volunteer Inn. Safety and barrel marshals will also be able to offer advice to visitors. Staff from the Rusty Pig will be hitting Mill Street with food wagons. The wagons have been created from cattle trailers and have a wood-fired oven on board. Profits from the sale of the food will be donated to the barrels committee.

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Programmes (£2) can be picked up from marshals and include maps, timings and locations for the events.

For live updates on the night, follow @friendsofcarnivalandbarrelnight on Facebook.

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