Held each August Bank Holiday since 1966
, the Notting Hill Carnival is the largest festival celebration of its kind in Europe. Every year the streets of West London come alive, with the sounds and smells of Europe's biggest street festival. Twenty miles of vibrant colourful costumes surround over 40 static sound systems
, hundreds of Caribbean food stalls, over 40,000 volunteers and over 1 million Notting Hill
Starting its life as a local festival set up by the West Indian community of the Notting Hill area, it has now become a full-blooded Caribbean carnival
, attracting millions of visitors from all over the globe. With many astonishing floats and the sounds of the traditional steel drum bands, scores of massive sound systems plus not forgetting the hundreds of stalls that line the streets of Notting Hill. The Notting Hill Carnival is arguably London's most exciting annual event
The Notting Hill Carnival used to get under way on the Saturday with the steel band competition. Sunday is Kids Day, when the costume prizes are awarded. On Bank Holiday Monday
, the main parade takes place. It generally begins on Great Western Road, then winds its way along Chepstow Road, on to Westbourne Grove, and then Ladbroke Grove. In the evening, the floats leave the streets in procession, and people carry continue partying at the many Notting Hill Carnival after parties.
is at the heart of Notting Hill Carnival, with traditional and contemporary sounds filling the air for miles around. Historically steel bands, Soca & Calypso Music
have been at the heart of Carnival but in recent years these have been overtaken by the static sound systems playing anything from Reggae to R&B, Funk, House, Dub and much more. Live stages also feature local bands, top international artists and sounds from around the world – Eddie Grant
, Wyclef Jean
, Courtney Pine
and Burning Spear
have been among the eclectic line up in previous years.
The Notting Hill Carnival dates for 2010 are August 29th and 30th. The proposed dates for Notting Hill Carnival 2011 are August 28th and 29th.