Britain biggest ever annual street festival kicked off again over the bank holiday weekend and it was the hottest ever.
The blazing sunshine of the hottest Bank Holiday Monday on record provided the perfect backdrop for the vibrancy of Notting Hill Carnival.
The leafy trees across the west London suburb provided shade for thousands of revellers to enjoy the booming sounds of the parade as it went by.
One performer on the Tears Mass Float Serena Thomas, said although it was hot, the weather was bearable. Drinks were provided on the float all day and if the heat got too much, she said they could all step off and have a breather.
When she did just that to grab some lunch, she said she became quite the star attraction and was immediately swamped with requests for photographs. “This is the only time I approve of people taking my picture,” she said, while her friend Rochelle Watson added: “The whole day is a movie, it doesn’t feel real.”
For one family its a regular event and they pick a perfect spot under a shady tree outside a house owned by a family they have not become friendly with. Sarah Steele said “If you follow the floats, it’s a different vibe,” she said. “If you pick your spot you get to see all the costumes and sound systems and there’s no pushing or shoving.” Plus you do not have to cart around a big ice box full of refreshing drinks.
Another regular Robert David-Grant said he had been attending carnival for 30-odd years. “It’s a time when everyone can be themselves and just have fun,” he said.
So how did Notting Hill Festival ever start? It was started by a lady called Rhaune Laslett who lived in Notting Hill with her mum and dad and wanted to highlight and celebrate the diversity in her area by putting on a festival. This year there was expected 2 million people a massive leap from the fifty people that attended the first ever on in 1966. As well there was approximately 40 static sound systems, ten steel pan bands and 70 performing stages. In addition there was roughly 15,000 costumes on display every year…and every single one is made by hand. It takes around 1 million hours to make and decorate them all!
Now we can’t wait until next years Carnival which will be better than ever!