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
Life and Style
Fans line up at the AVNs, straining to capture a photo of their favourite star
life Tim Walker asks how much longer it can flesh out an existence
Life and Style
Every minute of every day, Twitter is awash with anger as we seek to let these organisations know precisely what we think of them
techWhen it comes to vitriol, no one on attracts our ire more than big businesses offering bad service
News
Professor David Nutt wants to change the way gravely ill patients are treated in Britain
people Why does a former Government tsar believe that mind-altering drugs have a place on prescription?
News
Norway’s ‘The Nordland Line – Minute by Minute, Season by Season’ continues the trend of slow TV
television
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
Arts and Entertainment
art
Sport
Jonny Evans has pleaded not guilty to an FA charge for spitting at Papiss Cisse
football
Life and Style
Kate Moss will make a cameo appearance in David Walliams' The Boy in the Dress
fashion
News
The image released by the Salvation Army, using 'The Dress'
news
Sport
Liverpool defender Kolo Toure
football Defender could make history in the FA Cup, but African Cup of Nations win means he's already content
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

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

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Ashdown Group: Technical Presales Consultant - London - £65,000 OTE.

£65000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Technical Presales Engineer - central London ...

Recruitment Genius: Physiotherapist / Sports Therapist

£20000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Physiotherapist / Sports Ther...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Executive / Advisor

£8 - £9 per hour: Recruitment Genius: Sales Executives / Advisors are required...

Recruitment Genius: Warehouse Operative

£14000 - £15000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An opportunity has arisen for a...

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans campaign: Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after £300,000 gift from Lloyds Bank

Homeless Veterans campaign

Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after huge gift from Lloyds Bank
Flight MH370 a year on: Lost without a trace – but the search goes on

Lost without a trace

But, a year on, the search continues for Flight MH370
Germany's spymasters left red-faced after thieves break into brand new secret service HQ and steal taps

Germany's spy HQ springs a leak

Thieves break into new €1.5bn complex... to steal taps
International Women's Day 2015: Celebrating the whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

Whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

Simone de Beauvoir's seminal feminist polemic, 'The Second Sex', has been published in short-form for International Women's Day
Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Why would I want to employ someone I’d be happy to have as my boss, asks Simon Kelner
Confessions of a planespotter: With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent

Confessions of a planespotter

With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent. Sam Masters explains the appeal
Russia's gulag museum 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities

Russia's gulag museum

Ministry of Culture-run site 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities
The big fresh food con: Alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay

The big fresh food con

Joanna Blythman reveals the alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay
Virginia Ironside was my landlady: What is it like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7?

Virginia Ironside was my landlady

Tim Willis reveals what it's like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7
Paris Fashion Week 2015: The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp

Paris Fashion Week 2015

The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp
8 best workout DVDs

8 best workout DVDs

If your 'New Year new you' regime hasn’t lasted beyond February, why not try working out from home?
Paul Scholes column: I don't believe Jonny Evans was spitting at Papiss Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible

Paul Scholes column

I don't believe Evans was spitting at Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible
Miguel Layun interview: From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

Miguel Layun is a star in Mexico where he was criticised for leaving to join Watford. But he says he sees the bigger picture
Frank Warren column: Amir Khan ready to meet winner of Floyd Mayweather v Manny Pacquiao

Khan ready to meet winner of Mayweather v Pacquiao

The Bolton fighter is unlikely to take on Kell Brook with two superstar opponents on the horizon, says Frank Warren
War with Isis: Iraq's government fights to win back Tikrit from militants - but then what?

Baghdad fights to win back Tikrit from Isis – but then what?

Patrick Cockburn reports from Kirkuk on a conflict which sectarianism has made intractable