Ottery Tar Barrels
OTTERY St Mary's night of flaming fun is nearly upon us once again and, weather willing, organisers are looking forward to welcoming thousands of visitors for a safe and spectacular event. Boys, men and women are limbering up to hoist flaming barrels ont
OTTERY St Mary's night of flaming fun is nearly upon us once again and, weather willing, organisers are looking forward to welcoming thousands of visitors for a safe and spectacular event.
Boys, 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 Barrel will kick off proceedings at 4pm in the Land of Canaan. After the bonfire on the Millenium Green at 6.30pm the barrels will continue to be lit at various locations around Ottery.
The event is a real family tradition for carnival committee chairman Graham Rowland. Mr Rowland's role prohibits him from lifting a barrel this year but his wife Lesley and children Leanne, 25 and Daniel, 22 are all taking part.
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Mr Rowland said: "I've been doing it for about 40 years since I was a young boy, it's part of our culture. It's something that we are born and bred to do and 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 and we have kept going."
"My son has been in Australia for the last few months but has come back to take part, he wouldn't miss it for anything."
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Car parking, run by the local scouts, will be available at The King's School and at the Football Club with all cash raised going 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.
Carnival secretary Steve Pearcy said: "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."
"We are very lucky to have a very supportive insurance company who are very proud to support traditional events."
Ottery 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.