What We’re Doing This Weekend: Notting Hill Carnival

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Notting Hill Carnival

This bank holiday welcomes the famous Notting Hill Carnival to West London. The annual carnival – which is the biggest street festival in Europe - begins on Saturday night with a free open air concert and steel band competition.

Sunday is Family Day, starting bright and early with dancers, drummers and steel bands at 6am, followed by the popular Children Parade which runs all day through the colourful streets of Notting Hill. With a World Music Stage, performances from the Association of British Calypsonians and family workshops, Sunday promises to be the perfect day to take your kids along to the carnival.

Bank Holiday Monday showcases 60 bands in the main parade - the Grande Finale – as well as floats, stages, sound systems, and pop-up restaurants and bars, offering all the Caribbean food you could ever want. Once the carnival ends, there will be a host of afterparties, so expect to be feeling a little worse for wear on Tuesday!

The carnival has been running annually since 1966, and is a celebration of Caribbean culture, with its origins coming from the ‘Caribbean Carnival’ in 1959 - a response towards racial violence in London following racial attacks in Notting Hill in ’58. Over the years the carnival has grown enormously and there are now more than a million visitors expected to attend the festival, as well as 50,000 performers. Cross your fingers for dry weather!

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