The streets of west London’s Notting Hill erupted into a burst of vibrant colours and an array of different music blasting out in every direction, from steel bands to dub step, for Europe’s biggest event of it’s kind this August bank holiday weekend. It was first organised by West London’s prominent Afro-Caribbean community and will celebrate its 50th anniversary on August Bank Holiday 2016. Over one million people took part in the festivities this year. The two day extravaganza kicked off on Sunday and everyone seemed to be carefree and having a good time despite reports of a rise in arrests on 2012 figures. More than 13,000 officers were on patrol at the carnival over the course of the two-day event, conducting stop and searches at entry points but it didn’t stop three policemen in particular from wowing onlookers with their very own dance routine which shortly after became an online sensation. You can find this video by clicking here.
There was a fast buck to be made off the back of this popular event by the entrepreneurial-minded locals. Many of them opening up their homes for toilet facilities or to sell food or drink. One local I spoke to commented: “People around here don’t miss a trick when it comes to Carnival, especially these days.” There was also an abundance of catering stalls serving up dishes from around the world.We were lucky enough to have some fabulous weather for this years event with temperatures reaching up to 26C in the capital everyone there really saw London at its best. The hoards of people spread out to other areas of London with many of them choosing Hyde Park as a good place to sunbath and have a picnic before returning to the mayhem of the Carnival. The tube system just managed to cope with the masses of people using it over the weekend. At its peak people were having to wait for two or even three trains to pass before one arrived with enough space to get in, journey’s may have taken a little longer but thankfully there were very few closures and good services on the central line, which was the hardest hit by carnival-goers.
The carnival has been held in London’s Notting Hill since the 1960s and has since spread to other locations, such as Kingston and Leeds. The Kingston Carnival is held the weekend following the main Carnival, (Sunday, 1st September), so if you missed out on the Notting Hill Carnival then be sure to check this one out. Kingston Carnival is much smaller and much more child friendly, it’ a great day out for the family with great food, drink, music and dancers who will of course be dressed in their extravagant costumes. Fingers crossed it’s as big as success as it’s Notting Hill-based counterpart.
If you want to know what to wear to upcoming festivals and events like this one then check out these articles: ‘Festival: Being Fashionable vs. Being Comfortable’ and Top Make-Up Tips for festivals and events.
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