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A million revellers at Notting Hill Carnival

A million revellers at Notting Hill Carnival

LONDON: Around a million people are expected to attend the Notting Hill Carnival, a celebration of Caribbean culture which sees colourful floats and sound systems filling west London’s streets, from Sunday.

The annual two-day event, Europe’s biggest street party, snakes through the streets on a five-kilometre parade route featuring steel bands and dancers in exotic carnival costumes, watched by crowds of revelers.

Sunday is Family Day, with the main event taking place on Monday. But the carnival is also notorious for sporadic gang-related violence and robbery and police have already arrested 143 people in the run-up.

Superintendent Robyn Williams, Scotland Yard’s spokeswoman for the celebrations, said: “Unfortunately given the large number of people the event attracts, there will always be some who see it as an opportunity to commit crime.

“I say to those who plan to cause trouble, do not come; we will do everything in our power to make things difficult for you.” There will be some 6,000 police on duty at the carnival on Sunday and 7,000 on Monday.

The Notting Hill Carnival started in the 1960s, when the area had a high population of immigrants recently arrived from the Caribbean and was notorious for its slums — a far cry from today when it is one of London’s most expensive places to live.

Published in Dawn, August 31st, 2015

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