Notting Hill Carnival climaxes with joyful celebrations

Colourfully-costumed revellers paraded through the streets of west London on Monday, marking the climax of a “momentous and historic” Notting Hill Carnival.

Thousands took part in an exuberant adult parade as part of the annual celebration of Caribbean culture and history.

People were partying atop floats followed by drummers and feathered mas bands dancing to the beat, while stilt walkers strutted around.

Participants pass through Westbourne Park
Participants pass through Westbourne Park (James Manning/PA)

Meanwhile the sweet, smoky scent of jerk chicken filled the side streets where sound systems played everything from rare groove to house, samba, reggae and ska.

Celebrities including Lily Allen, Idris Elba and Nick Grimshaw were among those partying at this year’s carnival.

It is expected that more than two million people will have taken to the streets of west London by the end of the bank holiday as the carnival, Europe’s biggest street party, celebrates two landmark anniversaries.

The introduction of sound systems and mas bands 50 years ago transformed it into a large-scale event and the docking of the Empire Windrush 75 years ago heralded mass immigration from the Caribbean.

Notting Hill Carnival
Paramedics pass participants in the Notting Hill Carnival (James Manning/PA)

One DJ set this year was hosted by Luther star Elba, 50, who has been DJing for years and had a residency in the Club Room at HI Ibiza in 2022.

Among the most memorable additions to the parade was a Windrush-themed double-decker bus seen travelling up Ladbroke Grove.

The “beautifully designed” vehicle told the story of the Windrush generation and their “impact on carnival, the transport network and our city”, according to London mayor Sadiq Khan.

Deborah Klass, of the Windrush Generation Legacy Association, who was on board, told the BBC: “It’s a landmark moment for us – this year is significantly momentous.”

On Sunday the Metropolitan Police said the mood at the carnival had been “good-natured throughout the day” as they announced that a Section 60 order, providing officers with additional search powers, would be imposed overnight until 2am.

The force described it as a “precautionary step” following “information” that some people had travelled to the area carrying knives.

In an update released just before midnight on Sunday, the Met said 85 people had been arrested, including 11 for sexual assault and 10 for assault on a police officer.

Officers could be seen combing through bushes and bins in parks searching for suspicious items on Monday after a section 60 order, providing police with additional search powers, came into effect at 11.30am.

The second section 60 order in as many days, which followed new “intelligence” about weapons in the area, will expire at 2am on Tuesday.

In an update on Twitter, Met Police deputy assistant commissioner Ade Adeleken who is leading the policing operation, said: “The introduction of today’s s60 order does not change the policing style we have adopted for the event, and our officers will continue to provide a professional, respectful presence and sensitive approach to crowds to ensure the event can be enjoyed safely by all.”