LONDON — Europe’s biggest street festival, the Notting Hill Carnival, has opened with thousands of revellers watching a parade of giant floats.
Up to one million people are expected over two days for a feast of Caribbean culture, food, music and dance.
Hundreds of youngsters are taking part in the children’s day at the carnival which traditionally starts the event, now in its 49th year.
The carnival procession started at 9 a.m. on Great Western Road.
One of the first groups to take to the streets was the charity Kinetika Bloco, whose dancers wore pink, green and white costumes while a brass band played songs from The Clash’s Rock the Casbah to Daft Punk’s Get Lucky.
After fears the start of the event would be hampered by rain, the skies cleared and the sun shone on performers as they paraded through the streets of west London in bright costumes.
Met Police arrested 17 people in the early stages of the carnival for several different offences including a public order offence, carrying an offensive weapon, drugs, theft and drink driving.
A spokesman said 6,000 officers were on duty at the carnival yesterday and just under 7,000 today.
London Ambulance said by noon it had treated 41 people and taken six to hospital.
Notting Hill Carnival opened hours after London Overground guards began a 48-hour strike over plans to axe jobs, affecting more than a quarter of services.
The overground operator said 72 per cent of planned services were operating. (BBC)