LONDON: Hundreds of thousands of revellers hit the streets yesterday for the Notting Hill Carnival, the celebration of Caribbean culture that filled west London with dancers in shimmering feathers.
The two-day extravaganza draws up to a million people to the west London neighbourhood to watch troupes in exotic costumes perform on floats as the music pumps out.
Revellers milled between the stalls and thumping sound systems, drinking, dancing, and tasting jerk chicken as the smells of open-cooked Caribbean food wafted through the air.
Police made 111 arrests on Sunday’s first day: 30 for drugs, 27 for public order, nine for assaulting officers, amongst other offences.
Some 46 arrests were made by 1510 GMT yesterday, half of them for drugs offences.
“On the day we know that the vast majority of people come to carnival to enjoy themselves and soak up the atmosphere but like any event of this scale there are always those who come to commit crime,” said Scotland Yard police headquarters.
On Sunday, London Ambulance Service and St John Ambulance treated more than 300 people for cuts and bruises to their feet and alcohol-related injuries. A spokesman said 45 were taken to hospital.
Yesterday saw around 60 bands in costumes dance to the rhythms of the mobile sound systems or steel bands. Around 40 static sound systems were blaring out the beats. The carnival was founded in 1964 following the disturbances in Notting Hill six years earlier that saw clashes between whites and newly arrived immigrants from the West Indies.