Notting Hill Carnival (26 – 27 August 2012)
Every August bank holiday the streets of West London come alive for the Notting Hill Carnival – Europe’s largest street festival! The Caribbean theme sees the streets packed with steel bands, Calypso music and tempting food stalls; the Notting Hill Carnival is a huge party and everyone is invited!
Originating in 1964, the festival encompasses the Caribbean spirit which attracts visitors from all over the world. The streets are lined with hundreds of stalls serving mouth-watering Caribbean dishes; whilst the main parade exhibits astounding floats and sounds from the talented steel drum bands.
The carnival started as a local festival set up by the West Indian community in the Notting Hill area and has since grown to be of London’s most exciting annual events. With over 20 miles of vibrant colour made from dazzling costumes and hundreds of Caribbean food stalls, it is no wonder it attracts over one million revellers each year.
If it's a family event you're looking for, then that family-friendly Sunday is the best day to bring along the kids to the carnival as the costume prizes are awarded. The main parade takes place on Monday, beginning on Great Western Road and winding its way to Ladbroke Grove.
Whichever day you decide to attend the festival, you can be sure on great crowds and a vibrant celebration of music and movements with Caribbean food stalls serving jerk chicken and friend plantain, whilst the series of sound systems allow for alfresco dancing. The Notting Hill carnival is a remarkable display of sounds, colourful sights and social solidarity. Whether you want to join in on the fun or watch the crowds go by, don’t miss the chance to be part of London’s biggest carnival.