The Nottingham Carnival Experience

Nottinghill Carnival

About the Festival.

The “Nottinghill Carnival” is a yearly event situated in London, United Kingdom at the heart of Kensington Borough. It is usually a two day event during the end of summer on the August bank holiday.

The festival which is considered the largest street party in Europe started on the year 1966 and is hosted by British Caribbean Communities. Featuring parades, food stalls from around the world and live music from Reggae, RNB, hip-hop, house to Latin and other modern genres. The two day event is known to differ with the first being a more family and children family event whilst the second day being a louder larger party.

My Experience with the Festival.

Through the years I have heard both positive and negative perspective of the carnival. You would have heard that the festival is a party full of drugs, violence and petty crime. However I have been to various festivals in my life and these are aspects you get in any events. I believe the good far outweighs the bad, the vibrant colours, the music, the food, culture and togetherness is what I see and the media can sometimes be unfair on its reports.

I have been there before as a young teenager and remember just going to where the party was, this time round (2019) I came with a more touristic approach, trying to experience the festival in all different angles.

Photo by David Sedleck√Ĺ

Although the festival is focused on the Caribbean culture it seems to be open to various other cultures aswell. Firstly there are also street parties dedicated to Hispanic and African culture and furthermore there has been more and more foods from all over the world including European and Asian. . The food are cooked on the spot and the aromas are brilliant. Food here proves to be more expensive than most market stall prices but still (in my opinion) affordable.

Notting Hill Carnival
Photo taken Allan Henderson

If you like to dance I believe the best way is to find a street party with your taste in music or better yet follow one of the trucks in the parade. The main parade starts in the morning about 9am on both days and there is a judging panel in the evening. For many visitors and spectators it is one of the main reasons to go to the carnival.  The Parade includes many dancers dressed in very colourful and traditional attire, there are some floats aswell although not too many. The parade stretches a very long road so crowds are spread out however like any events the earlier you go the better chances of getting front views.

Photo taken from Pixabay

Overall I would say Nottinghill Carnival is an event to come and see. It is fun and a very social event with many chance to meet new people. This event in my opinion is not one to go and see solo and I do believe it is better enjoyed with the company you are with. I believe you make Nottinghill Carnival whatever you want it to be. If you approach the event with the purpose of trying new food you most definitely will, if you want a party you will find one of the biggest and if you want to acknowledge the culture you will definitely enjoy it here. It can get very crowded at some points but spacious in other places so if your the type that doesnt like crowds dont be put off.   Lastly everyone talks about its safety, in my view it is safe if you stay away from trouble, keep a little precautions of your  belonging and looks after your friends. Most importantly its a event to enjoy, a widely welcoming party with so much to see and do and I truly believe everyone should come here and make their own opinion of it as the media has definitely turned a few heads in both directions. Thumbs up from me.

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