BY KATE DENNETT
Residents flocked to enjoy the scorching bank holiday weekend at London’s most famous carnival.
Notting Hill Carnival has been running for more than 60 years and is one of the city’s largest celebrations of diversity and boldness.
More than one million people took part in this year’s festival to keep Caribbean culture alive and thriving in the city.
The streets of Kensington were once again overtaken by residents dressed in extravagant costumes to celebrate Caribbean culture.
Alexandra Burke is the first ever Ambassador for Notting Hill Carnival 2018/19, and continues to speak out in support of the carnival.
Last year was the new organisers’ first, and they continue to expand as they have taken on nine more passionate ambassadors, including Levi Roots.
Rita Ora also attended the 2019, event dressed in pink attire with her hair to match.
The origins of the celebration date back to the 1800s and with the emancipation of slavery in the Caribbean.
Slaves used to mimic their masters’ elaborate ball-costumes, adding their own flare and culture to their own costumes.
Caribbean carnival developed as a fusion of cultures after the abolition of slavery and became an annual celebration in London when the Windrush generation set up homes in the city.
Community activist Claudia Jones wanted to unite the community of migrants and held the first indoor Caribbean Carnival at St Pancras Town Hall in 1959.
Brazilian Bands have now become an important part of the festival since they were introduced in 1984 by The London School of Samba. They bring choreographed dance routines and synchronised drumming to the lively atmosphere.
Residents were blessed with sunshine and hot weather this bank holiday weekend as they took to the streets to fuse music, dance, food and fashion in celebration.
Mas bands – short for masquerade – make up an integral part of the festival, and this year continued to bring their own flare and colour to the celebration.
The Bacchanalia mas band and the Mangrove mas band were two of the most prominent groups of performers at the festival as they wowed their peers with their talents.
The UK National Steelband Panorama Competition took place on Saturday – one of the most anticipated parts of the festival. Croydon Steel Orchestra, Ebony, Mangrove and Metronomes were only some of the incredible bands that showcased their talents during the competition. Some of the bands make up to around 100 players as they filled the air with their fascinating sounds.
Many came from across the country – and around the globe – to experience the festival, and some even showed off their sewing talents with their handmade costumes.
Thames Water joined Notting Hill Carnival this year in its fight against single use plastics. Its tap bar was on hand for people to fill up their own bottles and stop extra plastic waste.