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Notting Hill Carnival

By Joanne Benbow

Posted: 13th February 2014 12:05

24 – 25 August

Notting Hill, London, England

Europe’s biggest street festival has been the must-go event of the August Bank holiday weekend since 1964, with Notting Hill Carnival pouring on to the streets of West London in all its vibrant glory.  The event celebrates London’s Afro-Caribbean communities with a vivid array of performances, steel bands, Calypso music and Caribbean food stalls.  At its conception, the festival had just 500 visitors.  Now, there’s upwards of 2.5 million attendees, and over 50,000 performers, making this event the biggest of its kind outside of Rio.

From 9am on both days, a parade of brightly painted and costumed performers, bands and thousands of members of the public makes its way through the narrow streets of London.  The Sunday event is known as Children’s Day, with a shorter parade, and there are also prizes awarded for the best costumes. 

With the exotic outfits and strong, Caribbean liquor to get you in the party spirit, London has some infamous pre and post-Carnival parties that really make this event the stuff of legends.  Head to London heavyweight nightclub Fabric for a pre-party to really get in the Carnival mood.  After-party options include Blagclub Notting Hill Gate, who have held an infamous after-party for the past 14 years, or Corsica Studios who play host to The Deadly Rhythm Carnival on Sunday night.

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