Revellers will take to the streets

North Devon prepares to see in the New Year

MANY thousands are expected to turn out in force this New Years Eve to see in the first year of a new decade on the streets of Bideford and Barnstaple – not to mention smaller communities across North Devon.

Whatever the weather has to throw at them the region’s two premier December 31st destinations are getting set to welcome families and revellers with a party atmosphere plus packed programmes of entertainment and fireworks.

In Barnstaple and Bideford the economic climate has made life tough for the volunteers who organise the towns’ flagship events – but they have pulled out all the stops to ensure the shows go ahead as planned.

In Bideford the town intends to “party like it’s 1999” as plans are ready for what looks set to be another star studded event, with of entertainment for all the family to enjoy, including early-evening events for the younger ones.

With 10,000 people expected to descend on the Quay for the festivities, organisers have urged revellers to drink and act responsibly, with consideration for those around them, to ensure a safe but memorable night.

Police will be informed of any under-aged revellers seen in possession of alcohol or drunk, with the offender’s parents informed and the youngsters sent home.

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The Quay road closes at 6pm, with DJ Barry Shotter will be joined on the X Radio One Roadshow stage by former local radio presenter Phil Morgan for an action packed set.

There will also be face painting, fairground rides, special guest stars and a children’s fancy dress parade at 7.30pm, with prizes for the best costumes.

Samba dance band Serendipity Soul will be performing with music from Samba Sol and then ITV’s Seth Conway will introduce powerful North Devon vocalist Della for a great live music set.

He will rejoin her on stage for the big midnight countdown, capped by the now legendary firework display above the river.

Barnstaple meanwhile is building a reputation for holding a highly popular family orientated New Year Eve celebration, which all kicks off in the town Square from 9pm. All money raised on the night goes to local charities.

DJ James Chapple will be your on stage host for the evening, belting out the hits to keep all ages entertained, followed by a special guest appearance from local singer Jemma Moore, who will be performing a toe tapping mix of great party songs.

The midnight countdown will be followed by a spectacular firework above the town centre, with thousands expected to once again pack the Square and line the Old Bridge to watch.

Hot drinks and food will be available throughout the night and for younger children a variety of fairground rides have been provided by showman Phil Vanstone.

The whole celebration is put together by the small group of volunteers that forms the Barnstaple NYE Charity Events Committee.

“This year its has been hard to get money and sponsorship for the event, so we would like to thank all those town councillors who donated money, as well as Barnstaple Town Council itself, County Councillor Brian Greenslade, local businesses and Barnstaple Town Centre Management,” said chairman Ian Roome.

Organisers are keen to hear from anyone who could help out as volunteers, either collecting for local charities or acting as event stewards. If you can help, call James Chapple on 08448 732257 or email For up-to-date information on the celebrations, visit

Elsewhere in North Devon smaller communities will be following their own traditions – in Torrington the town square will also be thronged with revellers, entertained by a music roadshow at the annual festivities organised by the Torrington Cavaliers.

In Ilfracombe crowds will once again begin drifting towards “the square” at the harbour junction of Quay Road and Broad Street from 11pm onwards.

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