Notting Hill Carnival returns to London streets after hiatus
LONDON (AP) — The annual Notting Hill Carnival returns to the streets of London for the first time since 2019, with more than a million people expected to enjoy music, spectacular parades, dancing and entertainment at Europe’s largest street party. Food. Sunday and Monday.
Carnival, which celebrates Caribbean culture every year at the end of August, had to be held online for two years due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Carnival dates back to 1958, when Trinidadian human rights activist Claudia Jones carried out a series of racially motivated attacks on West Indians in the Notting Hill neighborhood of west London , began organizing a rally to unite the community.
The event has grown from a festival attracting hundreds of people to a massive annual street party with tens of thousands of performers and more than 30 sound systems in the parade.
The festivities kicked off on Saturday night, with more than 1,000 people gathering in west London to watch the Steel Bands match.
Pepe Francis heads the Ebony Steelband Trust, which has performed at carnivals for decades.
“I’m in my fifth generation and a lot has changed since the band started,” he said. “But our members look forward to the carnival every year, and there are regular practices every year.”
“A lot of people have been waiting for it to come back,” Francis added.