Event: Notting Hill Carnival
When: August Bank Holiday Weekend – Every Year! ( 2018 Dates: 25th – 27th Aug)
Where: Notting Hill, West London, UK
New website: www.nhcarnival.org
As a child my earliest memories have always involved Carnival. Being of Caribbean descent and that wonderful Windrush lineage I’ve never known anything different. Carnival has always been vibrant, fun, full of music, good food, laughter and a real sense of community! Living 5 minutes from the route, a long history of working in the borough, and father and his friends part of the sound system element years ago also.. I very much see it as my community.
I’m incredibly lucky to know friends who “jump” with different Mas bands, design beautiful mas costumes and play traditional steel pan and try to bump into as much of them each carnival.
As Europe’s biggest street party and second biggest global carnival, it attracts over a million visitors each year and really is a culmination of the Caribbean community with that diverse London influence.
We were treated to the sweet steel pan sounds from both Mangrove and Endurance steel band. (Mangrove have “won” panorama on a number of occasions alongside rivals Ebony. )
Beautiful costumes and showcase from Legion Mas designed by Melissa Simon Hartman modelled by Maurisa Coleman
We were treated to a short video from those who participate in carnival every year, with one of the most memorable lines saying
” if West Indian culture was a currency, we’d be rich!”
The night rounded off with the sweet calypso sounds of Tobago Crusoe and a performance from the local Tabernacle kids, before a DJ set for the party element!
We heard from Ansell Wong and Matthew Phillips (NH Carnival Ltd’s Director) who reminded us all how great this yearly celebration really is but also how important it is to the community and what changes we could expect this year.
Sunday is reclaimed as Children’s Day with 10 more bands now added to the parade and a centralised family entertainment area in Meanwhile Gardens. There is also going to be a bigger call for local community people to become trained stewards specifically for the event and a push on ensuring all bands try and make it to judging point successfully.
- Plan your route in advance
- Meet your friends away from the route and enter together
- Get there early to find a spot to see the Mas Bands make their journey to get to judging point, or follow a truck you like the sound of!
- Decide on an area to meet if you get lost
- Remember that phone service is non – existent so don’t rely on this to communicate the closer you get to the main route.
- Come with the attitude to have a good time
- Try the food, Try the Rum and most importantly – Try and have a whine!
I’m looking forward to Carnival with 36 days to go! This year’s dates are August 26th and 27th, not forgetting Panorama on Aug 25th. To find out more about what will happen on each date, and plan your route in advance, visit the official website here
Be Sensible, Be Safe but most importantly Be Free and immerse yourself in the very best this beautiful carnival has to offer! I’ll be there as always with my flag! ❤️