The 52nd Notting Hill Carnival this year showed an amazing array of colours showcased by revellers and participants. The carnival kicked off in west London with carousers showcasing a vibrant display. Pictures show smiling carnival-goers covered in body paint and bejewelled outfits as Notting Hill was transformed into a feast of music, dance and colour.
Floats are parading through the streets today as a million people flock to the two-day event over the Bank Holiday weekend to celebrate the Caribbean and West Indian culture in the capital. The carnival featured steel bands, dance troupes and elaborate floats, with many among the crowds tossing paint and coloured powder at each other while dancing on the Notting hill streets.
A celebration of the Afro-Caribbean community, the two-day event has its roots in a 1964 London procession to bring people together despite racism and a lack of opportunity that blighted day-to-day life.
Police deployed metal-detecting arches to counter potential knife crime and have been given additional stop-and-search powers at this year’s carnival based on intelligence and after a spate of violent crime in London over the past week.
Almost 7,000 officers, some from the Metropolitan Police’s newly formed Violent Crime Task Force, are policing Monday’s event to “combat the threat of violent crime”.
This is up from the 6,100 on-duty officers at the less busy family day on Sunday. Undercover police as well as officers from the force’s firearms and dog units will be in place. The event attracted more than a million revellers to its floats, food stalls and music scene.
Heavy rain played a big spoiler, however, the attendance was still immense and police patrolling was well managed. Police made 133 arrests for a variety of weapon and drug-related offences, which has been a scene in past carnival events as well. A total of 20 weapons, including knives, were also seized as metal detecting knife arches were used at the event for the first time.
Millions of people took part in the event over the Bank Holiday weekend, and despite heavy rain on Sunday’s family day they proved they were out to party.
Instead of the t-shirt and shorts sported for the intensely hot weather of just a few weeks ago, there were umbrellas and a roaring trade for colourful plastic raincoats at Europe’s biggest street party. The community celebration carved its way around the streets in a mass of music, dancing, bold costumes and floats of soaked entertainers.