Notting Hill Carnival 2014: Over one million revellers expected as London street festival celebrates fiftieth anniversary

The biggest street festival in Europe will feature Caribbean culture, food, music and dance in west London

Over one million revellers are expected to attend Notting Hill Carnival over the next two days.

The biggest street festival in Europe will feature Caribbean culture, food, music and dance in west London.

The event gets under way today with children's day and forecasters predict conditions will be dry but cloudy with temperatures up to 19C.

Flamboyant costumes and thumping basslines will fill the air as giant floats make their way from Westbourne Park Underground station to Ladbroke Grove.

Organisers said this year marks the first milestone in the build-up to the event's 50th anniversary in 2016.

The arenas will pay tribute to the steel pan, the national instrument of Trinidad and Tobago which has played a pivotal role in shaping the carnival from 1964 to the present day.

The London Notting Hill Carnival Enterprises Trust acknowledged that some people believe the first carnival took place in 1964, while others say a "tentative" street parade with music and dance took place the following year.

But the organisation concluded that "documentary evidence" shows the first event with performers, costumes, music and placards occurred in 1966.

London mayor Boris Johnson said: "Carnival is a wonderful celebration and highlights what the Caribbean community does for London.

"This year there are two things which make it even more special - the 50th anniversary of steel pan and the free app which will guide you around the carnival route. I hope everyone has a fantastic time and a truly great event."

A number of business owners and residents have boarded up their properties on the carnival route in a bid to avoid damage.

A gang crime crackdown in the run-up to the party has seen dozens of arrests and the seizure of guns, drugs and thousands of pounds in cash.

Scotland Yard teams staged a series of dawn raids on Thursday, arresting 126 people by the late afternoon and retrieving weapons, including two machine guns and a handgun, crack cocaine and around £78,000 in cash.

Several of those arrested and released on bail will be banned from the carnival, with officers known as "super-recognisers" primed to spot them in the crowds if they do break the rules and turn up.

Chief Superintendent Robyn Williams said: "We are committed to ensuring that Notting Hill Carnival remains a safe, vibrant and enjoyable event.

"(The) operation was aimed at ensuring that those who set out with the intention of causing trouble at carnival will not succeed. By once again using our team of super-recognisers, we will quickly be able to identify and remove anyone prohibited from the event.

"If you know anyone who is planning to use Notting Hill Carnival to commit crime, please call Crimestoppers anonymously to help us keep the event a safe celebration."

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Business Development Executive / Sales - OTE £40,000

£18000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This fast growing Insurance Bro...

Recruitment Genius: Junior IT Support Technician

£20000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Junior IT Support Technician ...

Recruitment Genius: Junior / Graduate Front End Developer

£20000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company provides actionabl...

Guru Careers: Customer Support Advisor

Negotiable depending on experience, plus benefits: Guru Careers: We are seekin...

Day In a Page

Solved after 200 years: the mysterious deaths of 3,000 soldiers from Napoleon's army

Solved after 200 years

The mysterious deaths of 3,000 soldiers from Napoleon's army
Every regional power has betrayed the Kurds so Turkish bombing is no surprise

Robert Fisk on the Turkey conflict

Every regional power has betrayed the Kurds so Turkish bombing is no surprise
Investigation into wreck of unidentified submarine found off the coast of Sweden

Sunken sub

Investigation underway into wreck of an unidentified submarine found off the coast of Sweden
Instagram and Facebook have 'totally changed' the way people buy clothes

Age of the selfie

Instagram and Facebook have 'totally changed' the way people buy clothes
Not so square: How BBC's Bloomsbury saga is sexing up the period drama

Not so square

How Virginia Woolf saga is sexing up the BBC period drama
Rio Olympics 2016: The seven teenagers still carrying a torch for our Games hopes

Still carrying the torch

The seven teenagers given our Olympic hopes
The West likes to think that 'civilisation' will defeat Isis, but history suggests otherwise

The West likes to think that 'civilisation' will defeat Isis...

...but history suggests otherwise
The bald truth: How one author's thinning hair made him a Wayne Rooney sympathiser

The bald truth

How thinning hair made me a Wayne Rooney sympathiser
Froome wins second Tour de France after triumphant ride into Paris with Team Sky

Tour de France 2015

Froome rides into Paris to win historic second Tour
Fifteen years ago, Concorde crashed, and a dream died. Today, the desire to travel faster than the speed of sound is growing once again

A new beginning for supersonic flight?

Concorde's successors are in the works 15 years on from the Paris crash
I would never quit Labour, says Liz Kendall

I would never quit party, says Liz Kendall

Latest on the Labour leadership contest
Froome seals second Tour de France victory

Never mind Pinot, it’s bubbly for Froome

Second Tour de France victory all but sealed
Oh really? How the 'lowest form of wit' makes people brighter and more creative

The uses of sarcasm

'Lowest form of wit' actually makes people brighter and more creative
A magazine editor with no vanity, and lots of flair

No vanity, but lots of flair

A tribute to the magazine editor Ingrid Sischy
Foraging: How the British rediscovered their taste for chasing after wild food

In praise of foraging

How the British rediscovered their taste for wild food