Notting Hill Carnival kicks off in sweltering heat

Notting Hill Carnival kicks off in sweltering heat

Revellers have kicked off Notting Hill Carnival in style amid sweltering temperatures.

The streets along the route in west London were awash with colour as hundreds of thousands of partygoers enjoyed the beginning of the long-standing celebration of Caribbean heritage.

Almost 12,500 police officers and some 1,000 stewards will be in place across the two-day event to ensure a “safe and spectacular” festival, with the mercury forecast to rise to 32C (89.6F).

Around one million people are expected to flock to the west of the city on Sunday and bank holiday Monday for the carnival, which has been running for more than 50 years.

Dancers perform during the Children’s Day parade (Victoria Jones/PA)
Dancers perform during the Children’s Day parade (Victoria Jones/PA)

Organisers have described it as the UK’s “biggest celebration of culture, diversity and inclusivity”, and promised this year’s will “once again be full of vibrant colours, incredible music and dancing”.

Onlookers gathered on pavements in the strong sunshine as the community celebration began carving its way around west London in a mass of music, dancing and bold costumes of neon Lycra and brightly-coloured feathered headdresses on Sunday morning.

After what Metropolitan Police hailed as a successful use of screening arches – used to detect offensive weapons – for the first time at the carnival in 2018, there are “significantly more” dotted around the area this year.

Scotland Yard has not said how many arches are being used or where they are positioned, but described them as a “fantastic deterrent”.

The force, which has had to respond to a spate of stabbings across the capital in recent years, admitted last year that not everyone attending the event would pass through the screening facilities.

The streets along the route in west London were awash with colour (Victoria Jones/PA)
The streets along the route in west London were awash with colour (Victoria Jones/PA)

In 2018 there were two non life-threatening stabbings over the carnival weekend and some 45 police officers were injured.

The force said it will be “taking every step to make sure that doesn’t happen this year”.

Carnivalgoers have been advised to be prepared for very hot weather by taking water or refillable bottles and downloading the official carnival app to keep up to date with the location of medical points and food stops, and to get updates on transport delays.

Temperatures had already topped 27C (80.6F) in west London by 11am, the Met Office said.

Forecaster Craig Snell said: “People certainly need to bring plenty of water with them and slap on the suncream.”

Again this year there will be 72 seconds of silence on both days in memory of those killed in the Grenfell Tower fire in 2017. The tower block is within half a mile of the parade route.

- Press Association

More in this Section

Dog missing for 12 years reunited with owner after being found 1,000 miles awayDog missing for 12 years reunited with owner after being found 1,000 miles away

‘I was terrified’: LGBTQ community members share stories for #ComingOutDay‘I was terrified’: LGBTQ community members share stories for #ComingOutDay

Quiz: Do you know the ingredients of these famous cocktails?Quiz: Do you know the ingredients of these famous cocktails?

Birth of 100 funnel-web spiders shown in ‘not for the faint-hearted’ videoBirth of 100 funnel-web spiders shown in ‘not for the faint-hearted’ video


Lifestyle

Halloween has really upped the ante in recent years here, hasn’t it?We have moved on considerably since the days of a bin liner fashioned with holes for arms and necks

Sandhoppers for breakfast? It’s just not cricketCrickets for lunch anyone? Time - is running out - to get over our western food prejudices

Why did the Neanderthals go extinct?, asks Richard CollinsDid ear and chest infections wipe out our neanderthal ancestors?

Corkbeg Island near the mouth of Cork Harbour is today an industrial location with Ireland’s only oil refinery whose silver cylinders dominate the low-lying island like giant mugs, writes Dan McCarthy. Islands of Ireland: 'Tanks' for the memories Corkbeg

More From The Irish Examiner