The world-renowned Notting Hill Carnival is back in full swing this summer, with a line-up that will surely keep people from all walks of life entertained. The carnival attracts around one million people annually, making it one of the world's largest street festivals that celebrates London’s vast cultural diversity, specifically its Caribbean heritage.
This year's Notting Hill Carnival will take place on August 25th and 26th. For the first whole day, carnival goers will enjoy a Panorama as well as a steel band music competition complete with street food and dancing.
Celebrations include costume-clad Caribbeans dancing to traditional reggae, meringue, calypso, rumba, and zouk music, and street vendors selling foods like seasoned jerk chicken, callaloo, and traditional goat stew.
During the age of colonialism, the Caribbean was the contention of many European countries who each wanted ownership of a part of this gorgeous region. The English acquired St. Kiss, Barbados, Antigua, and other islands in the 17th century. It's common for many peoples of the Caribbean islands to reside in England.
The first mention of a Caribbean celebration was in 1959 when a carnival was held at St. Pancras Town Hall in London to settle down the race relations between indigenous British residents and Caribbean natives.
Trinidadian, Claudia Jones, is known as "the mother of the Notting Hill Carnival" for her promotion of this first carnival in The West Indian Gazette, a black motif newspaper. As the editor of the newspaper, Jones featured the fantastical performances of the Mighty Terror singing the calypso and a Caribbean Carnival Queen beauty contest.
That first event in 1959 spurred on the yearly carnival that includes a large parade with speakers lining its route sharing Caribbean history, colorful, and vivid representations of Caribbean traditions, and countless displays of the Technicolor wares of this island nation.
This annual celebration is held in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea. Close to one million people attend this extravaganza of Caribbean culture and in 2006, the United Kingdom voted to add the Notting Hill Carnival to the famous list of icons of England.
Sunday, August 25th will start early, at 6:00 am, with a traditional carnival opening performed in the Caribbean Islands called J'Ouvert. This event’s main attraction is a parade comprised of revelers donned with mug and brightly colored paints. A Children's Parade will stroll through the streets during the day and at night as children dance and perform in ornate costumes, swirling the brilliant-colored clothing.
Sunday is best day for families with young children to mingle with smaller crowds of people and plenty of kid-inspired floats in the parade. All day and into the night Sunday you can catch live music on stages and sample incredible foods from vendors while listening to all kinds of Caribbean inspired music.
The Grand Finale will be on Monday, August 26th with a mélange of dancing, street performances, steel drum music groups, and the Notting Hill Grand Finale Parade.
To fully enjoy this carnival, we recommend that you wear comfortable choose to easily walk around the festive streets during the celebrations.
Notting Hill Carnival is free! You don’t have to buy tickets or pay to get in. Enjoy all this world- renowned and famous street carnival has to offer!
We at The Edward Hotel know what’s going on, when it’s happening, and where it all happens. We have the latest and greatest list of things to do in London ready for all our guests. When you are in Paddington, the Edward Hotel is the friendly and affordable hotel of choice designed around giving guests an epic London experience.
NOTTING HILL CARNIVAL
ROYAL BOROUGH OF KENSINGTON AND CHELSEA
25 – 26 AUGUST 2019
6AM – 10PM