Notting Hill Carnival

Category: General

The Notting Hill Carnival is an annual event which takes place in Notting Hill, London, England each August, over three days (a weekend and a bank holiday). It is led by members of the Caribbean population, many of whom have lived in the area since the 1950s. The carnival attracts up to 1.5 million people, making it the largest street festival in the world.

Carnival kicks off on Saturday with the Panorama, a competition between steelpan bands mainly from London but more recently including some bands from other areas of the UK. Sunday is Children’s Day, with a shorter Carnival route for children and young people. The main parade then takes place on Monday.

The current route for the main parade covers around 3 miles, following Great Western Road, Chepstow Road, Westbourne Grove and Ladbroke Grove. In addition to trucks with pan bands or mobile sound systems, there are costumed masqueraders and around 40 static sound systems spread throughout the area playing a range of music at high volume. While the ‘traditional’ Soca and some Calypso can still be found, many other musical styles are represented.


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