Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Notting Hill Carnival - 25 August 2008

The largest Carnival in Europe happens at Notting Hill every August Bank Holiday, but since we are typically off somewhere else on holiday weekends, we had never seen it. So this year we stayed put in London.

The information in the press and on the web said that the parade went from 10 am to 7 pm. Although we wondered how the performers handle a parade that long we set off bright and early only to find the area basically deserted apart from the food stalls getting their barbeques going.

One policeman told us that the parade started at 12pm another suggested it was a bit random with the best not happening until 3pm. As it turned out, a Chinese section celebrating the Olympic Beijing-London handover passed about 11:30 and then after a short break other parade participants perambulated past periodically.

We had bagged a prime spot for photos but were continually frustrated by parade “Stewards” who seemed to perform no function whatsoever except annoy the photographers behind the barriers by blocking their sight lines.

So what with the fixed parade stewards, the mobile stewards accompanying each group, the police and the press photographers it was a constant challenge to get any decent photographs at all.

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